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[E CLASH OF EMPIRE! 



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THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 



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MEMOIRS OF PRINCE HOHENLOHE. 
Translated from the first German Edition 
and supervised by George W. Chrystal, 
B.A. In two volumes, with portraits, 
price 24s. net. 

THE REALM OF THE HABSBURGS. 
By Sidney Whitman. Crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. 

IMPERIAL GERMANY. By Sidney 
Whitman. Crown 8vo., cloth, 2s. 6d. ; 
paper covers, 2s. 

PRINCE BISMARCK. By Charges Lowe. 
With two portraits. Crown 8vo. § 2s. 6d. 

MADE IN GERMANY. ByE. E. Wiwams. 
Crown 8vo., 2s. 6d. 

THE FOREIGNER IN THE FARMYARD. 
By E. E. Williams. Crown 8vo., 2s. 6d. 

CAN WE DISARM ? By Joseph McCabE. 
Crown 8vo., 2s. 6d. 



LONDON : 
WILLIAM HEINEMANN, 21, Bedford Street, W.C. 



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Ct>Pyright % 1907, by William Htinemann 




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% 



xo 
THE MAN IN THE STREET 



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CONTENTS 



CHAPTER 

INTRODUCTION 

I. THE PERVERSITY OP DESTRUCTIVE POLITICLY 
II. THE SYMBOLS OP EMPIRE - 
HI. THE CHILD AND THE NATION ... 
IV. GROWTH OP THE GERMAN NATION AND OP GER 
V. IMMINENT NATIONAL DANGERS ... 
VI. SNARLS AND GROWLS OP THE GERMAN PRES 
Vn. RADICAL NARROWNESS OP VISION 
VHI. BRITAIN EXAMINED BY GERMAN LAND SURVE 
IX. LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS - 
X. OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE .... 
XI. GERMAN WAITERS AND GERMAN SOLDIERS - 
XII. PROBABLE UNION OP THE COLONIES - 

XIII. SENTIMENTAL AND OTHER TIES ... 

XIV. BRITISH ALTRUISM AND CALVTNISTIC HYSTEI 
XV. A STUDY OP KAISER WILHELM II 

XVI. "UNSERS ZUKUNPT AUOH UEGT AUP DEM V 

XVII. THE PRATTLE OP HERR BEBEL AND PRINZ VOl 

XVm. THE RIVALRY OP TWO GREAT NATIONS 

XIX. GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER - 

XX. THE IMPERIAL COUNCIL AND GERMAN THKEA 

XXI. THE EMPIRE'S JAPANESE BUTTRESS AND OTHE1 

XXn. BBITISH APPLUENCE, INDOLENCE, AND S] 

CIENCY - 

XXIII. THE ASCENDANCY OP ILLITERATE LABOUR - 

XXIV. WHAT A WORD PROM OUR RING-EMPEROR MIG 

vii 



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VU1 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER PAGE 

XXV. Germany's contempt of oub premier . - . 222 

XXVI. OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 233 

XXVII. THE TIME TO CRY " VERBOTEN " 243 

in. BRITAIN'S CHOICE — GERMANY OR FRANCE - - - 255 

3X. THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE .... 264 

XX. M. YVES GUYOT AND HIS MISCONCEPTIONS- - - 274 

[XI. IMPERIAL UNITY ON TRADE-UNION LINES - - - 281 

Xn. THE SPLENDID POSITION OF THE GERMAN ARTISAN - 289 

311. THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE— IMPERIAL UNITY - 298 



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INTRODUCTION 

As it is morally certain that I shall be accused of Te 
'phobia, and of the desire to foment trouble between " 
great friendly nations" I premise my pleadings for 
organic national unity with a word of explanation, 
great newspaper can affect more minds than any o 
agency. This being so, I have taken the sentimenU 
the most influential organs of the German Press tc 
representative of the feelings of the German nation, an 
venture to say that those who know anything at all a\ 
the, Kaiser and his people will own that I am not far wt 
in assuming that, ever since the successful close of 
Franco-German War — when young Prussian officers % 
wont boastfully to declare that England would be the \ 
to be crushed — Germany has never scrupled to give toti 
to her hostility to Great Britain. Therefore, by the 
pressions of opinion of her newspapers, her reviews, 
her publicists, let Germany be judged, for these are 
national mouthpieces. 

The limits of a small volume have prevented me f 
commenting Upon the innumerable military and m 
books that have appeared in Germany during the 
ten years, many of them being novels. Some of the 1 
remarkable, however, are written by great strateg 
nearly all of whom show the probable results* of a 

* In " Seestem's" book, "Armageddon, 190-," the author predict 
payment of an indemnity of £260,000,000 each by France and ( 
Britain when the Kaiser signs a treaty of peace. 



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x INTRODUCTION 

between Britain and Germany. The national object being 
what it is, these works serve to illustrate how apprehensive 
Germans are lest we should attach them before their fleet 
is ready, and the extraordinary and continued popularity 
of this sort of literature marks the eagerness of Teutonic 
readers for works of a militant character. 

The nervous unrest of Germany is an indisputable fact, 
and in dissociating itself from the popular war-clamour 
the Kaiser 9 s Government does not, and cannot, stop the frank 
expression of public feeling. 

According to the Tageblatt, this year's naval programme 
raises the amount to be spent before 1917 by £47,600,000 ; 
thus, the Government proposes to increase the fleet's efficiency 
by 35 per cent. This does not look as if the German 
Admiralty was out of sympathy with the constantly ex- 
pressed aims and objects of the nation I 

We need not read Baroness von SuUner's splendid book, 
" Die Waffen Nieder," to teach us the blessings of peace. 
We all know what war means, how ghastly it is, how 
terrible are all its effects ; but it is only by preparation, 
by firmness, by unity of purpose, and by quickness to 
defend our national good name and honour, that peace 
can be secured. A sluggish, self-sufficient, badly armed 
people makes vulnerable the national power and invitee 
attack, whilst an organized and well-armed nation is the 
best guarantee of peace and security. Graf von Reventlow 
was quite right when he said that the most appropriate 
inscription that could be placed over the Conference Hall 
at the Hague would be, " // you wish for war, prepare for 
peace." 

When, by means of Imperial Preference, we have con- 
solidated our Empire and taught Germany a much-needed 
lesson, we shall hear less of her belligerency. Disarma- 
ment lies in this very question, for without funds she cannot 
build warships. Germany knows this, and there is 
nothings she fears so much as a partnership of the different 
States of the British Empire. Economists of ability, such 



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INTRODUCTION xi 

as SchmoUer and Fuchs, have proved to her what she would 
suffer from such a combination. Sir William Lyne has 
just shown us how our exports to Australia are decreasing \ 
and how rapidly German trade with the Commonwealth 
is growing. If Sir Ifenry CampbeU-Bannerman will 
change his views and adopt the suggestions of the Colonial 
Premiers, he will achieve the purpose which he had at 
heart when he made his memorable overtures to the Kaiser. 
This, and this only, is the true way to stop the construction 
of warships. No* nation would dare openly to challenge 
Great Britain in naval strength when once the world saw 
thai the Empire was really united, and if Germany with- 
draws her most-favoured-nation treatment of our goods, 
she wiU soon grant it again. Had we ringed our markets 
with a tariff wall some thirty years ago, possibly some 
coalition might have disputed our right to such an enormous 
protected business, but now we need fear no coalition if 
we coalesce with our Colonies. When that happy moment 
arrives, much of the money that is now sunk in ship- 
building will be at liberty for more peaceful purposes, 
for the lessening of taxation, for the good of the people. 
Meanwhile, the spectacle of a Liberal Government, destitute 
of logic and imagination, calmly rejecting the serious 
offers of our virile and clear-headed kinsmen overseas by 
asking their spokesmen to reaffirm resolutions made in 
1902, after inviting them to cross thousands of miles of 
ocean merely in order to do so, tempts aggressive nations to 
prepare for a struggle with a Power which is weakening 
itself by alienating its strongest and staunchest friends. 

A nation like Germany, whose products are subsidized 
by its Government in order to oust British goods in a 
British Colony, views these Radical rejections as evidences 
of a desire on the part of Great Britain to cut her Colonies 
adrift. It appears almost as if we did not need them ; but 
Germany needs them, and, if we allow them to withdraw 
from us, she will try to get them. Owr Radical statesmen tell 
the representatives of the Colonies that they can give them 



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xii INTRODUCTION 

nothing ; but there are those in this country who mil grant 
them what they ask and more, and the time will soon come 
when it will be impossible for Mr. Snowden truthfully to 
say that the cost of living in Free Trade Lancashire is 
20 per cent, higher than it was a few years ago, despite the 
unprecedented prosperity in the cotton trade. 

The prices of the necessaries of life mil be more than 
20 per cent, less than they are now under a carefully planned 
scheme of Imperial Preference, and I confidently predict 
that possibly within five, and certainly within ten, years 
the country will have begun to realize the blessings 
of a fiscal reform which mil inevitably lead to the greatest 
of all our political ideals, Free Trade within the Empire, 
and this book will have justified itself. 



ROWLAND THIRLMERE. 



BRA8BN08B CLUB, 

MANCHE8TBR, 

May, 1907. 



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THE CLASH OF EMPIJR 



THE PERVERSITY OF DESTRUCTIVE POLITICO 

Only by constant reiteration of warnings is the 
that lies in the legitimate and laudable aspirat 
Germany likely to be realized by the British pul 
make no apology, therefore, for my appearance 
ranks of the small band of Britons who have cons 
themselves the watch-dogs of our national well-bei 
all who take up this book I would quote the vei 
inscription that hangs in a mellow room at Wine 
" Aut disce, aut discede, manet sors tertia — 
Those unpatriotic persons who would read throv 
volume must prepare for the inevitable castigati< 
Before we can drive home into the thick sk 
complacent and lethargic Radicals the real meai 
the minatory attitude of German progress, w€ 
repeat our admonitions again and again, in seas< 
out of season, with continual reinforcements c 
arguments, so that at last we may, perhaps, succ 
instilling into the hearts of the indifferent a 
patriotic fear, and cause the contented to admi 
there indeed exists some tangible ground for our 
hensions. But this will be the labour of more 1 
day, because the issues are so numerous and so in 
as to make it impossible " to deliver the law 
standing on one leg" — in other words, withi 

1 



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2 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

limits of a newspaper article or a single volume. Mean- 
while, we must do our best, and if the appeals of grave 
and quiet-voiced men, of military experience, get no 
response, we must imitate the formidable Masai warriors, 
who pitch their cries of alarm in the shrillest possible 
key. In hot countries, when the chorus of frogs first 
arises in the land, people say that spring is not far off. 
Let us hope that the chorus of Imperialists may bear a 
like welcome interpretation ! 

The danger that is threatening us may develop sud- 
denly, like a Chinese typhoon. Therefore, let those who 
are in the national observatory take warning by what 
happened at Hong-Kong, and give timely notice of what 
is coming. It may be that Britain has to fulfil her fate, 
her dukkeripen, and that all is preordained for us, col- 
lectively and individually. If this be so, then my book 
is necessary to the process of " dreeing my own weird." 
The death of Richard Seddon has removed from our 
midst one of the greatest and most unselfish patriots the 
Empire has ever seen. From the other end of the world, 
whence his outlook upon European events was uninter- 
rupted by any sort of prejudice, he discerned the true 
drift of German expansion, and, staunch Briton that he 
was, he recognized this Teutonic rivalry as almost the 
only really grave danger that threatens King Edward's 
dominions. He knew that every order given to the 
Teuton — by ourselves or by our kinsmen over-seas — 
is a contribution to the wealth of Germany, and a 
subscription to the fund which is destined to be the 
means of our possible Imperial overthrow. His last 
will and testament has shown us that this man thought 
it more honourable to strive after racial riches than to 
take advantage of his position to amass a large private 
fortune ! Though rough and unlettered, Richard 
Seddon was still wise enough to prime himself with 
precise knowledge as to the German aims and hopes 
in South Africa. He felt that South Africa is the 



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DESTRUCTIVE POLITICIANS 3 

key to the Empire. Ever since Bismarck uttered his 
memorable prophecy, there has been no chance of any 
misunderstanding about the national wish that lay 
behind the Chancellor's thought. Richard Seddon 
divined that Germany expected the British Empire to 
find its grave in the Transvaal or the Orange Free State ; 
he also took note of, and attentively weighed, that 
speech of Baron MarschalTs wherein the Transvaal was 
described as a German interest. He knew a great deal 
about those Hollander and German machinations which 
ante-dated the inevitable war— cabals the existence of 
which received some sort of confirmation in Kaiser 
Wilhelm's fateful telegram ; rumours which were stamped 
upon our minds as facts when, towards the end of 1900, 
Count Von Biilow cynically admitted in the Reichstag 
that, at the time of the Emperor's message to Kriiger, 
he had sounded other Governments with a view to con- 
certed action against Great Britain. Mr. Seddon was 
also aware of the many plots and schemes which have 
been so obvious since Great Britain emerged from her 
disgraceful military muddle. His keen judgment needed 
no perverse comments from the BloemforUein Friend to 
convince him of the alien nature of the sympathies of 
the Teutonic people of South Africa When, through 
their newspaper, Messrs. Steyn, Fischer, Hertzog, and 
De Wet told us that, so soon as they had gained self- 
government, they proposed to repudiate any conven- 
tion which included a preference to British goods, they 
did not surprise the New Zealand Premier ; and when 
Mr. Smuts boasted that the Boers would " get from the 
Liberals all that for which they fought in the war," 
he uttered no vain boast ! Though Seddon was rough 
in his methods and domineering in his manner, we con- 
done his peculiarities when we remember that his eyes 
were ever fixed upon that inextinguishable light that 
leads the patriot into the future. Tyndall once com- 
pared human beings to " streaks of morning cloud, 

1—2 



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4 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

melting into the azure of the past." Poor Seddon was 
just such a streak of cloud that came and went, touched 
with the auroral rose-light of a more glorious period 
that is still to come. 

It may be a principle in abstract science that the end 
cannot be laid down toward which, at any place or 
time, men ought to direct their efforts ; but politics, and 
especially Wettpolitik, is not an abstract science ; there- 
fore I say that only those who legislate for the coming 
generations deserve the name of statesmen. Richard 
Seddon's was one of the master-minds that see, afar off, 
the imperious needs of posterity. He grasped the all- 
important fact that the preponderant State of the future 
must have before it, ever and always, the glamour of a 
national ideal, and that every unit of the State must 
strive to attain this ideal. The nation with the greatest 
development of this instinct of the future is the nation 
that must survive and succeed, and only the nation with 
a high ideal can hope to be successful. 

It appears to me that the end towards which we 
Britons should ever consciously and unconsciously 
strive is national unity, for this embraces the still more 
important end of national welfare. 

History has shown us how, even in a former mighty 
German Empire, differences over minor, local, and per- 
sonal questions have brought about disunion and 
disaster. National unity having been now achieved by 
the United States and by Germany, the rate of their 
commercial and industrial progress is greater in conse- 
quence than ours, even as the increase of their popula- 
tions is proportionately larger than the increase in 
our population. Therefore, it is obvious that if our 
importance in the scheme of civilization is to remain a 
living and tangible thing, we must unite ourselves im- 
perially, and the nation must have a common end and 
aim. 

Meanwhile, in regard to one portion of the Empire, 



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DESTRUCTIVE POLITICIANS 5 

we have been confronted with the spectacle of the 
Premier disregarding every hint and every weighty 
speech that springs from Lord Milner's long experience. 
Unimaginative, like so many of his colleagues, he attempts 
to direct the affairs and fashion the future of a country 
that he has never seen, on the basis of a blind confidence 
in human nature which those with any gift of vision 
know to be woefully misplaced. We saw him beside 
himself with rage because Mr. Balfour dared to tell him 
that he was inviting disaster. Sir Henry is a man whose 
" unworthy, mischievous, and unpatriotic speeches " 
during the Anglo-Boer War made Great Britain's task 
of subjugating her enemy all the harder. His obtuse 
sentimentalism, which so often takes the place of 
statesmanship, is unnerving. One feels as if one were 
in a ship, on a dangerous sea, steered by a helmsman 
without chart or compass. The rashness of this terrible 
political surrender in South Africa is almost unexampled, 
and only men of perverted patriotism, such as Mr. W. T. 
Stead, can legitimately rejoice with Mr. Esselen and 
the other members of Het Yolk who have already 
threatened to remove the Second Chamber by means 
of a surgical operation. It is a mere cast of the dice, 
which may or may not result in a loyal Parliament ; 
but, whatever the British minority may do, the pre- 
ponderating force, the dynamic strength, of United 
Teutonic South Africa must irresistibly open the way 
to one inevitable end. Neither policy nor statesman- 
ship dictated the new Transvaal Constitution, merely 
the fatuous vanity of men who, having indulged in too 
much cheap phraseology in the past, find themselves 
under the necessity of showing some political con- 
sistency; and these men were aided and abetted by 
certain people whose anti-Imperialism makes them 
honoured citizens of every country but their own. 

Those who are responsible for this damnable blunder 
have merely the sense of the house-fly. The corpses 



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6 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of ten thousand of this insect's kindred would not 
deter it from venturing on the sweet and sticky paper- 
trap. Although they know that their folly in 1880 
set the seeds of the war of 1899, in 1906 they deliberately 
sow further seeds of a probable conflict that may utterly 
blast and break up our Empire from its strategical 
centre. The German journal Vorwaerte had no need 
to tell us that Germany clings to South- West Africa in 
order to make her colony a starting-point for the con- 
quest of the British possessions south of the Zambesi. 
All thoughtful men have seen the danger ever since 
the Kaiser's soldiers landed there, and the concluding 
part of that brilliant book Volker Europas — Der Krieg 
der Zukunft teaches us precisely how we are eventually 
to hand over our African Colonies to the Kaiser. But 
the men who now govern us are not given to reflection. 
Prince von Biilow pretends to say that German 
enthusiasm for the Boers in the South African War 
was due, not to hatred of England, but to Teutonic 
romanticism and idealism. All British residents in 
Germany know the value of this statement. The Radical 
party, however, attach importance to the Chancellor's 
denial, and, in doing so, they have destroyed the work 
done by our army. The destructive Radical party is 
like an elder-tree, and its speeches and acts are like the 
rain that drips from the elder's harmful leaves. No 
Imperial flower — not even a national blade of grass — 
will grow thereunder ! 

Thus we see rapidly evolving a spectacle of over-sea 
disorder that, however, may be destined to serve at 
least one useful purpose. The evil that our Ministers 
work will surely live as a warning in history. If love 
and fidelity to Britain become disqualifications for 
public service, if a Boer Ministry proscribes Govern- 
ment employes who were ranged on the side of the 
Mother Country during the late war, surely we shall 
then have before us a magnificent object-lesson ! When, 



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DESTRUCTIVE POLITICIANS 7 

at a remote period of our national story, some young 
Epicurus asks his preceptor who created chaos, the 
question will not be so difficult to answer as the Greek 
boy's inquiry in regard to Hesiod's line. 

The vainglorious trumpetings of this Radical Cabinet 
are allied to those of Richard Cobden, one of whose 
most emphatic declarations was that Free Trade, so 
far from checking and paralysing our agriculture, 
would revive it. "We are the great agricultural 
improvers of this country," he boasted in 1843. 
" Among the other glories that will attach to the name 
of Manchester will be this, that the Manchester men 
not only brought manufactures to perfection, but that 
they nude the agriculturists also, in spite of themselves, 
bring their trade to perfection." 

Cobdet's ideas were beautiful in their visionary 
simplicity ! They have stimulated the gaiety of 
nations. They have served the cleverest political 
economists of the nineteenth century as objects of 
derision. Those Ministers who have derived the 
essence oi their political wisdom from Cobden and his 
school hare now, in turn, expressed equally untrust- 
worthy opnions, and the future will disprove their mon- 
strous inaccuracies as surely as the past has disproved 
the essential untrustworthiness of Cobden's doctrine. 

If this list and most grievous Radical faux pas 
should bring about another war, it is not impossible 
that Imperialists may have the sorry satisfaction of 
seeing erstwhle Cobdenite Ministers reduced to beggary, 
perambulating the streets playing "Then you'll re- 
member me " on the French horn. It will be a sad, 
but not an unwelcome, spectacle ! Seriously, however, it 
seems a pity ttat these authors of the country's undoing 
are likely to ha^e disappeared from the face of the earth 
before the full extent of the evil they have wrought 
can be appreciated. Knowing how this by no means 
latest inoredible Radical folly might have influenced 



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8 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Richard Seddon, and the young nation that believed, 
and still believes, in him, one is almost glad that he did 
not live to suffer the shame of this almost insufferable 
national humiliation ! 

The absolute necessity of South Africa to us as a 
nation inspired the Colonies to send their contingents 
to the Boer War. What can they think of us nov % 
It is a melancholy fact that one person in every tvo 
hundred and eighty-three of the people of the British 
Isles is insane, and that the number of lunatics is 
increasing at a rate disproportionate to the increase 
in population. At the last census there were at least 
117,274 lunatics in the United Kingdom, and rf this 
number 46,800 were allowed to marry. If any corrobora- 
tion of these statistical facts* were needed, it wuld be 
only necessary to indicate this striking instance of 
national insanity, which has been exhibited to the 
world in the two new States. The whole international 
history of South Africa is, indeed, epitomized in the 
spectacle of the British chasing the Boers up and down 
the country in order to surrender to them. This being 
so, our Ministers have said to themselves, " W5iy should 
we not make one final surrender t" The sollier learnt 
the art of capitulation from Radical statesmen, and 
these incurable dispensers of a prodigal Imperial charity 
are determined that he shall not forget it. Mr. Glad- 
stone called this art " the practice of magnanimity " — 
the school-books of the future may perhaps name it 
differently. Majuba has passed into tie limbo of 
humorous events, and Afrikanders talk ajout it cheer- 
fully as they sit on the stoep and drink coffee. It is 
quite as far off as Bannockburn or Bujker Hill to a 
people who feel convinced that the Britjlh were beaten 
for their good ! 

* On census day there were actually 484,567 ' #entel degenerates * 
in the United Kingdom, and one physical degene*te in every five of 
the population. There were also 18,900 married jliots and imbeciles, 
in addition to the 46,800 married lunatics. 



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II 

THE SYMBOLS OF EMPIRE 

As there is so little real thoroughness in our grasp of 
even parochial matters, it is scarcely surprising that our 
Imperial interests are not understood by the majority. 
Confronted by the slipshod and superficial mental equip- 
ment of so many of those who have to handle over-sea 
problems, one almost despairs of ever awakening the 
nation to a sense of the realities in which it lives and 
moves. When I find even those who stand for the 
quintessence of wisdom — our Radical Ministers — speak- 
ing of the managing directors of South African mines 
as " the mine-owners," I confess to grave misgivings 
as to the efficacy of my pleading. Public men of the 
stamp of Lord Alverstone and Lord Halifax, who take 
the trouble to study colonial questions at close quarters, 
are extremely rare ; and among the ordinary public it 
is difficult, if not impossible, to make even the pro- 
fessedly cultured and intelligent understand that British 
capital, amounting to a sum exceeding our National 
Debt, is sunk in land that lies south of the Zambesi. 
Attack any " Randlord," and the British working-man 
jumps to the conclusion that the victim himself owns a 
whole mine. He is therefore a popular target, and 
the masses applaud, little knowing that his existence, 
as a mere managing director, is ten times more im- 
portant to our world-position than the existence of 
twenty cotton-mill managers. As Pliny said, Ex Africa 

9 



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10 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

semper aliquid novi ; and, indeed, there is always some- 
thing new coming from the Cape — some strange and 
baseless charge made against the captains of the most 
wonderful industry the world has ever seen. 

Granting, however, that many mining directors have 
become magnates, with vast power and responsibility, 
surely the disposition of the great wealth of Mr. Rhodes 
and Mr. Beit shows that such men have a tendency to 
become altruists of the most surprising type ! When 
the rabid British pro-Boers can point to persons of their 
unpatriotic opinions who have done good to the human 
race on the scale of the Rhodes-Beit munificence, I 
shall think better of them than I do to-day. Mean- 
while, those patriots who found international scholar- 
ships at Oxford, and project technical schools and 
universities in the Transvaal, stand first with me. 

Patriotism of the stamp of Cecil Rhodes's is as rare 
and beautiful a thing as the Blue Hope diamond. In 
judging a man of his nature one must look at the essence 
of his life, as manifested by the works that live after 
him, and not at his personal foibles or his failings. 
We do not demand certificates of character from the 
architects who plan our noblest buildings : we judge 
them by their talents, their completed work. 

Not less arduous is the task of making people learn 
that those who seek to administer South African affairs, 
according to sane British ideas, are merely acting for a 
public which has risked its money in an Imperial enter- 
prise even more honourable than cotton-spinning. It 
now seems to be entirely forgotten that Cecil Rhodes 
did more for human amity and progress than endow 
the High Table at Oriel. When one finds the intelligent 
direction of the Empire paralysed through fear of the 
power of half-educated politicians who have never 
learned even geography, one feels indeed dismayed. The 
crying need of Britons to-day is the acquisition of that 
general culture which comes only when men enlarge 



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THE SYMBOLS OF EMPIRE 11 

their horizons by constant and solid reading. No one 
should enter the House of Commons as a legislator 
until he has passed an examination in general knowledge 
and in history. Two-thirds of our Labour politicians 
would experience more than a little difficulty in placing 
Agricola in his particular epoch, and their knowledge 
of the causes that led to the downfall of Greek power 
may be assumed to be practically nil. One cannot 
expect patriotism from the uneducated, except under 
brilliant leaders who can do all the necessary thinking 
for their illiterate followers. 

Plastic Cabinet Ministers stunt the mental growth of 
most members, inasmuch as they invest the uneducated 
with so great an importance that the man who cannot 
for the life of him state the locality of Krugersdorp 
does not hesitate to talk about the place, and to suggest 
legislation for it. Refusing to take advantage of the 
Commons' schooling, deeming himself already only too 
highly educated, this hypothetical legislator proceeds 
to develop his bump of conceit, and to add to the con- 
fusion which is always the most striking feature of 
Radical law-making. The unity of the race is, indeed, 
menaced when vast Imperial schemes are rendered inert 
by the disapproval of men whose ideas have seldom 
ranged outside an engine-shop, a coal-mine, or the back- 
yard where their linen is drying. Such individuals are 
invariably opposed to statesmen of approved courage, 
who have the manhood and nerve to support justice by 
armed intervention whenever it is wise to do so. 

The men who made England what she is were 
courageous and cool. These democrats who would un- 
make England are cowardly and excitable, with no 
imaginative hold on history and no. clarity of mental 
vision. They exult when a Colonial Governor, who 
happens to be a man, is slapped in the face by his 
superiors, and they are delighted when other nations get 
the better of us. To them the future is meaningless. 



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12 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

We do not ask that our Members of Parliament should 
be superfine compounds of Benvenuto Cellini and the 
Ettrick Shepherd, but we have a right to look for 
intelligent patriotism and glimpses of educative influ- 
ences in their outpourings. We do not require pub- 
licists who are merely troubled with intellect. A 
political career demands from those who pursue it the 
ability to make money, to make profit, to render suc- 
cessful in every way the vast business of an Empire — in 
a word, it should exact the highest development of the 
constructive business quality. The bulk of our Labour 
Members at present do not display this faculty, their 
highest quality being its very antithesis. They are 
adepts at suggestions which, if adopted, would result 
in a general lowering of our national wealth. Their 
economies are the fancies of vain visionaries, of dismal 
doctrinaires ; and if we venture to practise them farther, 
we shall soon find ourselves in the reminiscent period 
of our history. Serious electors cannot take a handful 
of talkative theorists from the shiftless and discontented 
class they represent and give them the direction of an 
Empire. Administrative ability does not always go 
hand-in-hand with ready speech, or we should not see 
responsible legislators reducing our national insurance 
policies by terrifying amounts with a few capricious 
strokes. 

We have seen what Socialism can do in municipal 
affairs. Since 1875 the annual local rates for England 
and Wales have increased from 16s. 2d. per head of the 
population to 28s. 6d. per head. During the same 
period the average amount of local debt has risen from 
£3 18s. 3d. per head to £10 10s. 7d. What does this 
mean if it does not spell eventual industrial ruin ? 
What does this signify if it does not stand for eventual 
national bankruptcy % We may be buying in the 
cheapest market and selling in the dearest, but we are 
paying more to live than are the Germans and Americans, 



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THE SYMBOLS OF EMPIRE 13 

whose fiscal conditions are opposed to ours. Each farth- 
ing which is added to the rates means a farthing less for 
the ratepayer to spend, fewer shopping expeditions, less 
domestic painting and decorating, and more unbridled 
municipal waste ; so that, in the long-ran, the working- 
man suffers. Perhaps such facts as these may wean 
democracy back from the perilous ways of anti- 
nationalism to the true, broad highroad of patriotism. 

A scientific ideal of national welfare would soon 
develop itself if books once more took their proper 
place in every home. But men do not nowadays read 
as they used to do. Knowledge is generally snatched 
from newspapers, and the progressive development of 
other nations is not deemed worthy of attentive study 
by the majority ; neither is the progressive development 
of Great Britain considered important enough to engage 
our serious thought. National organization is an urgent 
call which troubles few, yet those who are not entirely 
blind to the trend of events must recognize that our 
primary need is a system of national education which 
would make patriotism a part of the curriculum, as it 
is in Germany, the United States, and Japan, and also 
give the young that absolutely essential physical know- 
ledge which is far more necessary to national greatness 
than the deepest book-learning. 

A further necessity is a new Aliens Act, whose pro- 
visions would be more stringent than those of the 
present one. If aliens never became possessed of votes 
in Britain, less would be heard from Radicals of their 
mythical rights. Patriotism cannot be expected of a 
country which is rapidly becoming denationalized by a 
great outflow of the most energetic and daring British, 
and a rapid inflow of human epiphytes, who are fasten- 
ing upon the tree of our nationality and bidding fair to 
choke and kill it. One might leave the ivy and vine 
parallel for another not less instructive figure. Our 
aliens are like the wax insects of China. Born as eggs 



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14 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

on a certain tree in a particular province, they are carried 
by men to another district, and there placed on a different 
kind of tree, where the eggs hatch and develop into 
comfortable insects. I place all Radical alien-lovers in 
the same category as the Chinese porters who carry the 
eggs of the wax insects all the long way from Chaotungfu 
to Kiating. 

The aliens who have changed the physiognomy of 
Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, and Birmingham have not, 
and cannot be expected to have, a spark of patriotic 
feeling, and the one great thing they have ever done 
was to return Mr. Winston Churchill for a Manchester 
constituency. That was the only gleam of patriotism they 
have ever shown. We have much to learn in regard to 
the treatment of these foreigners, and if we continue to 
refuse to benefit by the ripe policy of other countries, who 
exclude undesirables, we ought to go to the insect-world 
for lessons in the rudimentary art of racial protection. A 
busy colony of ants has a very summary way of dealing 
with unwelcome intruders, and we might with advantage 
take hints from such a community. 

During the eleven months ending with May, 1906, 
over 70,000 British emigrants settled in Canada— a fact 
which would be a cause for legitimate rejoicing were it 
not that a large number of low-class aliens entered the 
United Kingdom during the corresponding period, and 
remained here to propagate their species at a rate 
entirely disproportionate to the rate of increase in the 
British people. As an instance of their prolific ten- 
dencies, I may mention an inquest held by Mr. John 
Troutbeck in the Westminster Coroner's Court, during 
which a Russian Jewess admitted that she was the 
mother of twenty-five children ! It is said that only 
628 aliens were naturalized in 1906, and Mr. Byles is 
bemoaning the severity of a naturalization-fee fixed 
at what he calls the excessive figure of £5. He has no 
need to worry, however, for the Slav does not trouble 



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THE SYMBOLS OF EMPIRE 15 

much about naturalization-papers. He has found a land 
which is soon to be dominated by his race ! 

At this moment of our history, when the balance 
of naval, and consequently moral, power is rapidly 
moving towards the Protectionist countries, there is a 
crying need for more thinkers and workers of the 
patriotic stamp of Lord Meath — men who have set 
themselves the task of teaching British adults the 
meaning of the word " Empire." When our states- 
men of Cabinet rank invariably think of the United 
Kingdom as the Empire, one realizes how difficult is 
the work that must be done. At the present time this 
Empire may be likened to an express train whose 
engine is driven by a man with but little engineering 
initiative. There is a bad fault in the connecting-rod 
of the locomotive, but he fancies it will last without 
disaster until the end of his journey. It may hold out, 
and he may reach his destination safely ; on the other 
hand, it may break and cause an appalling tragedy. 

Lord Meath's efforts to promote the general observ- 
ance of "Empire Day" are most commendable; for, 
although Britain is not entirely peopled by pro-Boers 
and those who denounce unrestrainedly their com- 
patriots in India, South Africa, and everywhere else 
in the world, it is, perhaps, through their children that 
the men and women of Great Britain may eventually 
come to realize their vast responsibilities, and learn to 
know the true extent and richness of the territories 
which the valour of their forefathers bequeathed to 
them to hold in fee for their descendants. When some 
sort of general knowledge on this subject becomes 
diffused, we shall hear fewer howls directed against 
the pro-British spirit, and people of all classes will 
recognize that Cabinet Ministers are trustees, not merely 
of Great Britain, but of the whole Empire. 

Moreover, the tide of emigration may conceivably be 
stopped automatically by a sensible barrier to the flood 



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16 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of alien immigration into this country. When onee the 
potentialities of the mother, united with her children, 
are realized, it may become an article of faith that 
British territory should be kept for Britons, and 
that merely certain portions of Imperial territory 
should be thrown open to suitable aliens. If only we 
could get people on to the land again, and make it 
worth their while to farm, we should not lose so many 
of our best citizens by emigration. During the last 
fifty years a mistaken Cobdenite policy has driven the 
most energetic and virile spirits of our race abroad. 
No wonder the springs of patriotism are running dry ! 
The fruits of this policy taste bitter in our mouths ! 

Now that some four millions of children in the British 
dominions have come under the influence of Lord Meath's 
movement, surely it will not be long before each parish 
can supply the local school with a flagstaff and a big 
Union Jack, to be saluted by boys and girls on the days 
of St. George, St. Andrew, St. Patrick, St. David, and 
on Empire Day ! It must be remembered, however, 
that this act of homage — which is essentially the mere 
salutation of a symbol — will not make a boy a hero 
of the type of those intrepid Japanese who threw them- 
selves against terrific sheets of fire at Port Arthur ; 
neither will timely lessons in rifle-shooting perform 
this miracle. It is not so much what we do as what 
we are that counts in racial struggles. Only the 
example of sincere, consistently virtuous and self- 
sacrificing statesmen will cause our youth to forsake the 
hideous ideal of the music-hall, with its poisonous air, 
for the noble one of an education that instructs, interests, 
and delights at one and the same time, thus " insensibly 
engendering patriotism by a perfectly natural process." 

The late Sir. James Fergusson's last request was that 
his son should erect at his expense a flagstaff in the 
grounds of JDailly School. Would that we had more men 
of the type of the statesman who was killed in Jamaica ! 



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THE SYMBOLS OF EMPIRE 17 

Some 25,000 schools throughout the Empire observed 
the last 24th of May. In Ontario alone about 6,000 
masters and mistresses thus emphasized the most 
important fact in the lives of their pupils. Let us 
hope that next May the number will be doubled every- 
where, and that soon it may become impossible for an 
Irishman to pull down a flag made holy by a thousand 
sacred memories, and after throwing it into a river far 
clearer than his disloyal mind, retain his bones intact. 
If we can educate schoolboys into a forceful manhood, 
and teach them — as Lord Montagu and Lord Meath 
suggest — to accustom themselves to the sight of the 
Union Jack flying above them during school hours, it 
will be well for us ; for now, in our grievous days, we 
behold with amazement that no man came forward 
in Dublin to chastise a disloyalist for an unforgivable 
insult to his King and to his country. When the 
Union Jack that fluttered over the dying Nelson was 
thrown into the Iiffey, " no demonstration took place !" 
Equally discreet was the behaviour of Irishmen at the 
luncheon which followed, when Alderman Kelly and 
others refused to drink the health of the King. The 
person of the leader of the Sinn Feinn appears to be 
sacrosanct in Irish eyes. Verily we have developed 
into cold-blooded, crawling things ; we have no more 
virility in us than turnips or potatoes ! 

It is time to hang up the flag in our schools, and to 
teach the reverence that formerly was offered to it by 
national instinct ! Mr. James Sexton recently suc- 
ceeded in defeating a proposal in an Education Com- 
mittee to erect flagstaffs in the playing-grounds of all 
the Liverpool schools. Can it be that he sympathizes 
with those Irishmen who object to the British ensign, 
or is he really afraid of the growth of that patriotic 
spirit which only the narrow-minded call militarism ? 
Let us take Germany for our exemplar in this, too, 
for it is doubtful whether the Dublin Alderman would 

2 



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18 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

now have been alive had he been German, and had 
so desecrated the emblem of the Fatherland. But 
there is no Teuton who would perform an act of such 
baseness, nor yet any savage. It would have been 
better had the Alderman put the knife to his throat 
that he applied to the cord to which the Union Jack 
was fastened ! His memory will offend the feelings 
of loyal men for ever, and by his action the Neo- 
Fenian movement, with which he is associated, becomes 
soiled and degraded ! 

The observance of Empire Day is but the first step 
towards the inculcation of the concrete notion of Empire 
and nationality in the minds of the young. The ideal 
of Empire must be firmly planted, and its Imperial 
spirit must be cultivated, because this ideal is noble, 
and this spirit is the greatest thing that a man may have 
in his heart. We may make our motto " Pro patria 
populoque," but it is not enough to write ourselves 
down as patriots : we must put life and soul into the 
word by means of our own spirit. The letter kills, the 
spirit vivifies. Never did Cabinet oratory so loudly 
extol the people's welfare as it does to-day, yet never 
have the actions and wishes of the orators inclined so 
much to that which is likely to inflict the greatest 
injury on the people. We must strive to foster patriot- 
ism until we can depend upon it in every soul in the 
country, as one depends upon the Penny Post. Patriotism 
is even as an inexhaustible well : the more water we pump 
out of it, the better the remaining water. 

The Education Committee of the Victoria League — an 
association formed with the object of welding together 
the Empire — has offered a series of prizes to pupils in 
secondary schools for the best essay on Imperial Citizen- 
ship : its Privileges and Responsibilities. This is one of 
the first practical attempts at focusing the minds of 
children upon the most important question of the day, 
and Lady Jersey, President of the League, is to be con- 
gratulated on this good work. 



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m 

THE CHILD AND THE NATION 

We all admit that we have grown nationally indolent 
and careless, and the remarkable Imperial apathy 
which we manifest is chiefly due to the absence of any 
direct patriotic influence upon the minds of children 
in our school curricula. Moreover, our example of 
excluding patriotism as an educational subject has had 
a pernicious effect even upon Canada, where Sir Frederick 
Borden's suggestion for a period of universal training 
is not developing as it ought to do in a country with 
so many interests to defend. The most appalling 
ignorance exists everywhere in the United Kingdom 
as to the extent and importance of our Empire over-sea. 
In the Post-Office's Christmas postage lists we find the 
only patriotic publicity of the names of our sixty colonies, 
and there is not a man amongst us who can remember 
and repeat them all, from Aden to Zanzibar! 

Nothing but stupidity can be expected of a pro- 
letariat that lives under the dreadful conditions of the 
poor in our great industrial cities, where children are 
taught everything and anything but how to take 
care of their bodies. As a nation we are physically 
inferior to savages. The most perfect barbarian, the 
Zulu, puts even our most magnificent manhood to shame 
from the^point of view of fine development. Among 
the Zulus dental disease is unknown, whilst 97 per cent 
of the population of this country suffers from the lost 

l» 2—2 



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20 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of one-third of their teeth. We cram the minds of 
elementary scholars with useless dates and absurd 
accomplishments, but leave them ignorant of Nature's 
laws. Moreover, the shrivelled woman of the lower 
middle classes, without a healthy red corpuscle in her 
body, perpetuates a strain of snivelling cowards that 
have not the pluck to demand educational reform. 
There are millions of the working classes to whom Great 
Britain, as a kingdom, does not exist, and they look at 
all great questions which they see discussed in news- 
papers with the eyes of the street-boy who thought a 
lark was a sparrow in a fit ! Mentally and physically 
anaemic, they have in their minds no reverence for a 
country where their lives are spent in toil, rendered 
doubly arduous because they cannot recognize the failure 
of Cobden's most sanguine ideas. The greatest need 
of civilization is for the elevation of the souls of the 
people — at any rate, to the point whence they may see 
all that may be theirs for the asking. As citizens of 
the grandest Empire ever formed upon this planet, the 
people of Britain have opportunities denied to the 
inhabitants of every other country in the world ; further- 
more, they have within their grasp the most magical 
hopes — and hopes count for much in our passage through 
life. 

Existence in great cities stultifies and decivilizes the 
poor, destroying their patriotism, even as city smoke 
destroys the urban trees. In the old days our European 
wars kept our patriotism alive, and were in themselves 
a sufficient national stimulus ; but now that the South 
African fiasco has made us ashamed of fighting and 
distrustful of our prowess, we cease to think imperially, 
and we suffer agonies of self-abasement when confronted 
by international perils. The League of the Empire has 
a great deal of work before it. We seem to have lost 
our mental and physical stamina. Even in the matter of 
physical training, a man who subjects himself to a course 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 21 

of exercise feels that he is manifesting a spirit of self- 
sacrifice, and that the rest of his species should look upon 
him as a phenomenon. Displays of energy are rare 
enough to justify his attitude. The blood of the nation 
is lacking in leucocytes ; for the moment, at least, 
disease-producing organisms have obtained the mastery. 

It is said that we pay income-tax on realized profits 
of £900,000,000 per annum, and yet the annual report 
of the Local Government Board shows that we have 
the largest proportion of poor of all nations. Out of a 
population of forty millions, one in every twenty — say two 
millions in all — are in receipt of poor relief, living as 
imbeciles or incurables in asylums and infirmaries, 
frittering away life in workhouses, or free to perpetuate 
their incapable and worthless species as they choose ! 
This is a fine commentary on our civilization ! 

Of course, I do not advocate the creation of a spirit 
of Jingoism in children, but merely the adoption of some 
direct and effective teaching as to the vastness and im- 
portance of our colonies and of India.* Text-books in 
every school throughout the Empire should insist upon 
the greatness of our Imperial responsibilities. The 
scheme with which that admirable patriot Mr. Louis 
Spitzel was associated, if carried out, will do more for 
the British race than a century of Radical government. 
It was proposed to give a copy of a book containing the 
history of the British Empire to every school-child in 
Great Britain and the colonies. It is a pity that Mr. 
Spitzel's untimely death has interfered with the early 
development of this project. 

Education will be to our future Empire what the spirit 
of creative enterprise was in the past. Now, when 
the necessity of paying little attention to the dis- 

* Since this was written, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Strathcona, 
Lord Milner, and others, have founded an ' Empire Education Fund,' 
which is intended to promote a wider knowledge of Imperial subjects 
than at present exists. 



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22 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

credited utterances of Cobden has become more and 
more evident, we must teach children what our Empire 
is. Unfortunately, Cobden's influence is still para- 
mount in our schools. " I see in the Free Trade principle," 
he declared, " that which shall act on the world as the 
principle of gravitation in the universe, drawing near 
together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race and 
creed and language, and uniting us in the bonds of 
eternal peace." 

As Cobden's vision has proved faulty, let us try and 
bring about a real unity of our racial units to resist the 
pressure of those antagonistic influences now ranged so 
menacingly against us. We must destroy the Cobdenite 
fetish utterly and irrevocably, or it will destroy us. 
The unquestioning acceptance of obsolete doctrines is 
a fatal error. 

Our slow-moving nation, however, has made equally 
grave mistakes in the past. It is not a hundred years 
since juries, composed of tradespeople, were sending 
boys to be hanged for wittingly, or unwittingly, attempt- 
ing to pass forged notes ! This on the authority of 
Serjeant Ballantine. Recorders, overcome with emo- 
tion, have interceded for such lads in vain. Thus it is 
with us. We have become obsessed with fixed ideas, 
which we regard even as we regard the inevitability of 
the sun. Let working-men read the speech of poor 
Pilling, who was tried at Lancaster Assizes at the time 
of the Chartist agitation in 1843, remembering that the 
class of men represented by Cobden was responsible for 
the horrors this operative described. 

It was Cobden who descried an immense national en- 
richment by the extension of our factory system at a 
time when, in all mechanical inventions — and, indeed, in 
every department of trading — we were already supreme. 
This wealth came to us through the introduction of Free 
Trade, and our benefits increased and multiplied, as was 
foreseen. Then we began to lose the lead ; we fell behind 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 23 

in our inventions ; we began to teach foreign nations 
our business, and we built factories for them — where- 
upon the Cobdenite doctrine ceased to be valid. Cob- 
denism was the effort of the manufacturing classes to 
justify themselves and their interests in the eyes of a 
public outraged by the Chartist disclosures. Being 
narrow and base, and as it has always been the anti- 
thesis of patriotism, it is self-condemned. 

Although the greatest and purest of ideals is the 
love of race and country, our school geographies give 
no special prominence to the larger questions of 
patriotism involved in the protection of our numerous 
dependencies. They do not teach the child that our 
immense navy has been created to guard our foreign 
possessions and our trade routes ; they give the young 
student no adequate notion of the world forces opposed 
to us, influences against which our nation has still 
greatly to struggle. Conversely, the Canadian child 
knows next to nothing about the Old Country. 41 His 
mind is fed upon American journalism, and his aesthetic 
perceptions are ministered to by theatrical companies 
from the neighbouring Republic, whose repertoire is 
always pro-American. Par different is it in Germany, 
where the following Cabinet Order was recently issued 
by the Emperor : " I will give from the money collected 
by the scholars of the high schools on the occasion of 
our silver wedding, for naval purposes, the sum of £6,000 
to a foundation to be administered by the Imperial 
Admiralty, the interest from which shall be applied to 
the maintenance and advancement of professional en- 
thusiasm and a healthy love of sport among youths 
training for the navy." 

Far different is it in the United States, where many 
generations of children have been trained to regard 

* Mr. Buxton, the Postmaster-General, has done splendid service to 
the cause of patriotism by reducing the postal charges for magazines 
and periodicals to Canada. 



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24 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Great Britain as an oppressor still to be feared, where 
the fight for independence has been painted in such 
glowing colours as to make each boy's bosom swell with 
pride when he reads of the way in which his country 
freed herself from British dominion. With " Old Glory " 
in miniature in every buttonhole, in every home, and in 
every portmanteau, no wonder the unity of the States 
is a mighty world force. Every lad in the Western 
Hemisphere knows, and is proud of the fact, that he 
may be called upon to fight for his country. He is a 
soldier at heart from the first, though he may never 
have enrolled himself in the gendarmerie. 

The Rabbinical wisdom held that the breath of school- 
children was God's own breath, and the Jewish seers 
knew then, as they know to-day, how to make a proper 
impression on youthful minds ; hence the homogeneity 
of the Jewish race. In Japan, too, the meaning of 
Empire is drilled into school-children from the first, 
so that every lad in the streets considers it the highest 
honour to be asked to give his life for his country. 
When a schoolboy, the use of a rifle is shown him by an 
imitative Board of Education that once fondly imagined 
Great Britain likewise taught all her sons to shoot. 
The rifle was made a school subject in Japan simply 
because we were said to lay the foundations of patriotism 
in our children, and consequently great battles were 
won in Manchuria. This singularly fortunate blunder of 
the Tokio authorities affected the whole course of the war. 

Japanese faith in our country is now sadly shaken by 
the spectacle of our greatest soldier vainly exhorting a 
slothful people to get up and defend itself. Japan sees 
her once puissant ally, like an old man, breathing ster- 
torously and running heavily down the highroad of 
progress on the flat of his feet. John Bull, the resilient, 
the eternally young, has become decrepit ; his spring 
and bounce have gone ! 

The United States, however, presents to Eastern eyes 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 26 

a spectacle of greater efficiency. There the Public 
School Athletic League has introduced in at least ten 
of the New York high schools an apparatus known as 
the sub-target gun machine. This is an ingenious piece 
of mechanism by means of which any lad may learn 
how to use a Krag army rifle, and become a dead shot. 
The new invention will soon be found in every American 
school, whilst we are twirling our thumbs. 

Lord Roberts knows that, although there exists in 
Great Britain an asinine contempt for the sailor's shirt 
and the soldier's tunic, the spirit of the people is sound ; 
but he also knows that during the South African War 
the difficulty was not to find those who were willing to 
fight, but to find men who knew anything about fighting. 
At last, however, the sneers of Japan and the entreaties 
of our foremost strategist are having some effect, and 
we hear that the Board of Education may now make it 
possible for every lad to become an efficient rifle shot. 
If the Board does this, it will find the British schoolboy 
what he was in the Elizabethan period, and there will 
be no need further to deplore our lack of patriotism. 
Teach him the value and use of the rifle, but do not 
tire and disgust him by mere military drill Make each 
exercise interesting and instructive, and every lad will 
become a soldier for his own pleasure. When Lord 
Montagu of Beaulieu's suggestion is adopted, and the 
school which receives support from public funds flies 
the Union Jack from porch or roof during working hours, 
we shall find no lack of soldiers. 

But there is a danger that such men as Mr. F. Madi- 
son, M.P., may really undo all the good work that Mr. 
Haldane has already done. With a heart full of ex- 
cellent intentions, and his tongue ready with apt and 
telling phrases, our War Minister has striven manfully 
against the forces of destruction ; but the issue is 
still doubtful. To several of his colleagues the very 
mention of the British flag conveys a sense of aban- 



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26 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

doned militarism, and to hint of an over-sea Empire to 
these cringing Radicals is equivalent to asking for their 
contempt. Mr. Madison accuses Mr. Haldane of taking us 
back to the days of barbarism in saying that nothing has 
a more steadying and sobering influence on a nation than 
to be brought into close acquaintance with the arms, 
equipments, and all necessary preparations for war. If 
" a nation in arms " means a nation that knows what 
war signifies, Mr. Haldane must necessarily be right, 
and this criticism from a cocksure Progressive may 
be treated with contempt. 

Then, lastly, not to multiply my instances to the 
point of boredom, I venture to allude to Germany, 
where conscription has been the making of the in- 
dustrial class in giving the whole male population sound 
and well-developed bodies, and in teaching them the 
value of discipline; where the schoolboy takes his 
tuition more seriously than our schoolboy does, pos- 
sibly because he has a slight dread of conscription. 
At the end of eight years' schooling, a boy can go in 
for an examination. If he passes, he is allowed to 
escape with but one year's military service, instead of 
three ; but if he is unsuccessful, he is allowed no second 
attempt, and he must serve his full term. 

In Germany the abstract idea of patriotism is turned 
into a concrete fact by the weekly contributions of tiny 
school-children to the Navy League, and the national 
aim of ultimately combining naval predominance with 
military ascendancy is the common subject of conversa- 
tion in every house. The work of this Navy League, 
with its membership of nearly a million, has been im- 
mensely stimulated by our recent reduction of 40 per 
cent, in the British naval programme. When, at the 
accession of the Radicals to power, the South African 
News screamed in triumph, forecasting a series of pro- 
Boer and pro-German Parliamentary sessions, the editor 
never looked for quite such successes as have been 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 27 

vouchsafed to those of his persuasion. This is a moment 
which has been anxiously expected for years. " Bide 
your time," said General Keim and his Navy League, 
and the time has come for striking swiftly and gaining 
ground. Naval supremacy, with the newest ships, at 
last appears within reach of the Power whose trading 
in our markets has made her rich enough to dispute 
with us the possession of the Trident. 

This German Navy League is increasing rapidly. It 
is fast becoming a craze, and everything is done to 
foster its development. Excursions to naval ports, 
illustrated lectures, torpedo-boat patrol of rivers, con- 
stant press references to the ships — in which unfavour- 
able comparisons are drawn between the British and 
German navies — all these influences are making con- 
verts to the Kaiser's sea policy, not by scores, but by 
thousands. The teachers in German elementary schools 
are being won over, and frequent extra trains are run 
to Kiel for their benefit. Then, there are the special 
stamps of the Navy League, on one of which — that of 
Frankfort — is the motto : " Germany calls the cities to 
her assistance, that the German Eagle may spread its 
wings over the seas." 

The child's weekly gift of ten pfennige is handed over 
to the Navy Fund, because its parents know that 
Germany's future, if it is to be brilliant, depends upon 
our downfall. " Erst eine Flotte bauen," is the reply 
made whenever one begins to discuss Great Britain in 
the Fatherland ; and who in this country troubles his 
or her head about German progress, or enrolls in the 
British Navy League ? 

This, then, is the end and aim of Germany — her 
national ideal : the combination of naval predominance 
and military ascendancy. Do not let us laugh super* 
ciliously at her aspirations. From the German point 
of view, they are perfectly just and right. History has 
shown what military strength can do for a nation. 



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28 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

According to Oncken, the two greatest events that have 
occurred in Germany during the last five hundred years 
are Luther's nailing up of his famous theses on the 
Wittenberg door, and King Frederick William IH.'s 
Breslau proclamation, which appeared in the Official 
Gazette, February 13, 1813. This proclamation intro- 
duced military service, and called into existence the 
first really national army ever seen in Europe. Thus, 
as Sir Rowland Blennerhasset has said, the union of all 
the physical and moral force of the nation in a fine 
army is the secret of all the subsequent triumphs of 
Prussia. We must not imagine that we can imprison 
such a fortunate, clever, and united people within the 
narrow limits of the territory it now occupies. We 
might as well try and put a stopper in the throat of 
Hecla. As Herr Runge, editor-in-chief of the semi- 
official Norddeutsche AUgemeine Zeitung, remarked dur- 
ing his recent visit to this country, Britons ought to 
remember that nations have personalities, desires, and 
aims that are worthy of respect, as proceeding from an 
evolutionary patriotism. To ignore the immense factor 
of German energy is pure madness, and to continue to 
pretend, as we do now, that the two Empires can be 
run on fraternal lines must surely at last evoke that 
so-called middle-class distrust of sentimentalism in 
statesmanship which sooner or later provides retiring 
pensions for its exponents. 

The piquant ambitions of Prussian statesmen are as 
plain to be seen in their diplomacy as caraway seeds 
in a simple Abernethy biscuit. Through their Anglo- 
phobia, whether veiled or unveiled, we discern the 
underlying purposes. 

So far as we are concerned, however, we are not 
disposed to yield them a single inch of ground. Our 
motto must ever be, " So gebet dem Kaiser was des 
Kaisers ist." The Germans must be content with 
their new torpedo station of Heligoland. That large 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 29 

and impossible charity, which would place all great 
possessions in the hands of the needy, is still dormant 
in the brains of Socialists. Meanwhile, I do not find 
that Lord Derby, or any other territorial personage, is 
particularly anxious to share his possessions with me ! 

Although rebuffed in South America, temporarily 
checkmated in Asia Minor, and baffled in Africa, the 
great Empire which Bismarck so forcefully welded 
together is bound to expand, or it must perish. This 
being so, it is arming steadily and sternly ; whilst, at 
the bidding of unimaginative dreamers, we are disarming ! 

We must remember that in the Kaiser's dominions 
infantile mortality is not now so alarming as it is in 
certain parts of Great Britain. Thus the most important 
buttress to Imperial aspirations is more secure in the 
Fatherland than it is here. The 600,000 marriages 
which take place in Germany each year result in a great 
number of chldren to almost every union. Rich and 
poor alike, German women look upon motherhood with 
favourable eyes ; consequently, we see a birth-rate that 
is expanding. In about one generation the German 
people has advanced from a numerical level of equality 
with the United Kingdom to a superiority of more than 
33 per cent., and this people is growing at a rate of over 
900,000 souls per annum, whilst the British population 
is increasing by only 400,000. The German statistician 
Herr Oehmke estimates that in the middle of the 
twentieth century, with a probable population of 
14,000,000 souls, Berlin will have outdistanced London 
and New York. Germany's strength rests precisely in 
the fact that this extraordinary increase in her popula- 
tion provides her with an almost inexhaustible military 
reserve. 

Something must be said, too, for the training that 
mothers give their sons. The German Havsfrauen are 
veritable Cornelias, and the Gracchi whom they foster 
are the cleverest and most forceful people in Europe. 



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30 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

" Von alien Frauen in der Welt 
Die deutsche mir am besten gefallt, 
Yon innen and von auszen ; 
Sie schafft zu Hause, was aie soil, 
Die Sohiissel imd die Wiege voll, 
Und sucht das Gliick nieht drauszen." * 

Here, and in our great island continent, the birth- 
rate is admittedly declining, and declining so rapidly 
that, unless British women soon begin to realize what 
is their proper business in life, our nation must inevitably 
go down before either the German race or that trans- 
atlantic people which is a formidable blend of all the 
virile European stocks. The Registrar - General's 
quarterly return, issued in mid- August, states that the 
births registered in the second quarter of 1906 — in 
an estimated population of over 43,500,000 — number 
237,187, giving a rate of 27*5 annually per thousand. 
This is the lowest birth-rate recorded in any second 
quarter since civil registration was established. 

The only thing we can put on the credit side of this 
national account is the fact that we are becoming soberer 
— perforce, if you will, but soberer. People are 
getting tired of being poisoned by bad liquors ! The 
Douglas Stipendiary Magistrate found that during 
Bank Holiday week, 1906, 80,000 English, Scotch, 
Welsh, and Irish visitors landed in Douglas, and only 
one, a Barrow bricklayer, had to be locked up for 
drunkenness. And, indeed, it was time the reformation 
came, but let us be sure that it has come ! 

The malignant taint of heredity still exerts a terrible 
influence on our national well-being. Not only is there 
a predisposition to drunkenness in a child born of in- 
temperate parents, but there is also a predisposition 
to madness. Then, we have no law to prevent the union 
of two persons who have just been discharged from 

* Free Translation: Of all the women in the world, the German pleases 
me best : inside and outside the home she does her duty — fills dish and 
cradle, and seeks not her happiness beyond her family circle. 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 31 

lunatic asylums ; they may marry and propagate a 
mischievous species. Indeed, certain well-known 
asylum medical superintendents have recently spoken 
in no uncertain tones respecting this preventable cause 
of degeneracy. When we recollect that in the county 
of Lancashire alone there are about fifteen thousand 
lunatics under control, we appreciate the magnitude of 
this evil. Is it surprising that the nation should be 
so weak, irresolute, nervous, and cowardly % With 
strong, sane people anything may be done, but de- 
generates are hopeless. " Ye are the salt of the earth : 
but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewithal shall 
it be salted ? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but 
to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of 
men." 

People were wiser in the days of the Roman occupa- 
tion of Britain, as their urn inscriptions prove. Husbands 
dedicated memorials to their " fruitful and well-beloved 
wives." In those days they did not feed babies by 
means of indiarubber teats, and American incubators 
were not required. English people kill more than a 
hundred thousand infants every year, and we still think 
we are the finest nation under the sun ! Dr. J. Milsom 
Rhodes — a practitioner who knows the working classes 
thoroughly — spake truth when he said that this out- 
herods Herod. The long-tube feeding-bottle slays 
more infants than any other agency ! When only three 
out of fifty Lancashire lasses could tell him correctly 
how to feed a baby, how can we continue to look to 
Lancashire for light and leading ? 

When Sir Thomas Barlow introduced to Mr. Birrell, 
at the Board of Education offices, a deputation from the 
Hygiene and Temperance Committee of the Medical 
Profession, Sir Lauder Brunton repeated Miss Dendy's 
story of the mother she met who said of a very sickly 
baby : " This is the last of them. I have buried eleven, 
and I cannot understand why they died, because I have 



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32 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

always given them everything they cried for !" Let us 
hope that Mr. Birrell passed on this story to his 
successor with the doctors' recommendations. Perhaps 
Mr. McKenna may be able to let the light into this 
mental darkness ! 

Ruskin tells us that " all the duties of her children 
to England may be summed in two words — industry 
and honour." To this phrase we ought to add, for 
charity's sake, the word duty ! 

The problem of life in palace and in slum alike may 
be resolved in one word — duty ! We have known 
20,000 people gathered at a football match, but on the 
same day it was found impossible to get 12,000 to go 
and vote on a question of most vital importance to a 
prosperous municipality ! Pleasure before duty, of 
course ! The efficient discharge of duty cannot but 
strengthen us in every possible way. Therefore, we 
must make it our duty to educate our people physically, 
as well as mentally, for it is from the well-governed 
body that great thoughts and high aspirations usually 
arise. The clear brain evolves its own patriotism 
without external stimulus. For a clear brain a good 
digestion is necessary, and good digestions are excep- 
tional among urban workers. Then, let us clear the 
national brain by first attending to all matters relating 
to the body. 

A certain technical school in the North has instituted 
courses of lectures on health, and especially on digestion. 
This is an example which ought to find many followers. 41 
We must make it a reproach to any city that poor 
people should kill their children by neglect and ignor- 
ance. It has always been said of the British Empire 
that its foundation consists primarily of men ; therefore 
we must have men. In districts where our professional 
classes are most numerous the women have fewest 

* The plain physical truths of life are taught in every school in 
America. 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 33 

children, and in these localities we find the greatest 
number of cancer cases. 

Oobdenism has made the profitable pursuit of agricul- 
ture in Great Britain all but impossible ; therefore there is 
now no vigorous peasantry to maintain and reinforce 
the national strength. life in the industrial quarters 
of great cities does not rapidly improve, nor does the 
mentality of the people. Lady Kinnoull tells a capital 
story, which illustrates the ignorance of certain women : 
" * You ought not to give your baby bloaters/ said the 
secretary of our Day Nurseries for the Children of 
Working Mothers. 'You don't understand nothing 
about it,' was the reply, ' for you ain't even married, 
and I've buried five.' Gin, kippers, and winkles, form 
the bulk of the diet of some of these children." Vacuous 
minds, planted in terrible surroundings, which stifle 
and deaden all the higher feelings, are not likely to train 
many patriots. The worse the sanitary conditions 
under which our lower classes live — the worse their 
physical and mental health — the higher is the birth-rate. 
The richness and greatness of a people largely consist of 
happiness and health ; yet in districts where there is the 
maximum of wretchedness, the birthrate is highest ; and 
where the mothers and fathers manifest the greatest 
proportion of undesirability, the maximum of children 
is produced. Even as with other forms of life, the lower 
the organism, the more prolific it is ! Prom such 
sources of degeneracy we get stories of mothers striking 
their girls with red-hot pokers, throwing boiling- water 
over their boys, and generally behaving like incarnate 
fiends. No wonder that patriotism is dead ! 

Under the present social conditions of a large city, a 
higher net birth-rate is shown to be very markedly 
correlated with most undesirable social factors. 41 These 
indicate sources of national degeneration which partly 

* Nevertheless, in Great Britain some 100,000 infant lives are 
sacrificed every year to neglect and ignorance. 

3 



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34 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

supply the answer to the riddle of our national apathy. 
When 25 per cent, of the married population produce 
50 per cent, of the next generation, race failure cannot 
be distant. When we recruit our population from 
stocks that are mentally and physically feeble, the 
inevitable end of British prestige must be near. Sir 
Charles Dilke is no longer able to say that the world 
is rapidly becoming English, for the pure, strong 
English are dying out. This blot upon our civili- 
zation must be removed, otherwise a more virile and 
healthy race will rightfully usurp our position in the 
world. The scandals so frequently revealed in that 
beneficent paper, The Child's Gvardian, ought to be 
made impossible, and such elementary hygienic pre- 
cautions as the compulsory notification and segregation 
of cases of phthisis should be made obligatory. 

Just as the indefatigable white ants perforate lead, 
concrete, and even hard sandstone rock, so surely and 
silently are the Teutonic virtues working their way 
through all our most stubborn national defences. Our 
National League for Physical Education and Improve- 
ment has recognized this, and the Bishop of Ripon, Sir 
Lauder Brunton, Mr. H. St. Loe Strachey, Lord and 
Lady Londonderry, and other deep thinkers, are doing 
their best to improve matters. 

If our educative system does not exert sufficient 
influence over women to teach them the folly of 
dragging babies in arms to music-halls, it is time we 
remodelled it completely. The mother who takes her 
babe to a " second house " on a Saturday night is not 
worthy to live ; she ought to be executed. No wonder 
the Mayor of Huddersfield felt himself constrained to 
offer prizes to women who rear their children over the 
age of twelve months. He thus made the cares of the 
nursery so interesting that he reduced the death-rate 
from 157 per 1,000 to only 45. 

Mr. Stead has at least done one good thing in recent 



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THE CHILD AND THE NATION 35 

years : he has drawn the attention of the thinking public 
to the absurd amusements of the variety stage. But 
the poverty of wit, and the utter absence of anything 
really invigorating and sustaining on the music-hall 
boards, are doubly accentuated by the murderous 
ventilation of the majority of the theatres, an evU 
which no infant in arms has the strength to withstand. 
During their arbitration with the Metropolitan Com- 
pany, the Marylebone Council engaged an engineer to 
watch their interests at £5 an hour. This gentleman's 
total fee amounted to £2,676. Now, if each municipality 
in the United Kingdom would employ an expert at a 
similar fee to teach the value of fresh air, good and 
properly cooked food, and tooth-brush drill, and to give 
hints as to the rearing of infants, I am sure it would 
be a clear gainer in the long-run. 



3—2 



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GROWTH OF THE GERMAN NATION AND OF 
GERMAN ENVY 

We should always try to remember that the virile 
Germans are increasing in numbers at a rate dispro- 
portionate to the British, and whilst in Great Britain the 
relationship between inferior social status and high urban 
birth-rate has practically doubled during the last fifty 
years, in Germany the increase in population has re- 
mained about equal amongst all classes. 

Is it Providence that is doing this ? The old Spanish 
proverb tells us that God writes straight on crooked 
lines. Did He ordain that the British race should 
decrease in numbers, or is the race itself to blame ? 
Is not this decline rather the indirect result of having a 
whole half -century of our own way ? Does not a low 
birth-rate mean that a nation gets lax and effete when 
it is not braced by the struggle for existence ?* 

This disproportionate German progress is not entirely 
confined to population ; we also observe it in produc- 
tion. Every year brings an increasing number of souls 
into the world whose patriotism eventually seizes upon 
that ideal of the German people which their politicians, 
their litterateurs, and their publicists of evqry kind and 
degree have sedulously fostered for many years. 

This national ideal is so unmistakable that its signifi- 

* Read Dr. Rentoul's lecture to the Incorporated Institute of 
Hygiene in London, and the report of the Conference on the Teaching 
of Hygiene and Temperance in the Universities and Schools of the 
British Empire. 

36 



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GROWTH OF THE GERMAN NATION 37 

cance will soon be clear to every man and woman in our 
Empire, and, being clear, it ought at least to create a 
defensive patriotism in every British heart. Those who 
do not know what is the ideal of the Kaiser's subjects 
ought to make Dominus illuminatio mea their daily 
prayer. This admirable Empire of Germany, which 
became homogeneous but thirty-five years ago, refuses 
to be confined within its present limits ; therefore, very 
sensibly, it seeks to become a predominating world- 
influence. 

Even as far back as 1863 Lord Lytton, at Copen- 
hagen, wrote as follows : " The German Government 
and the German peoples have the same object in view 
— viz., the acquisition of a marine frontier and sea out- 
lets. . . . The Governments (virtually Prussia) want 
the sea for obvious purposes of commercial and political 
aggrandizement. The populations want it because every 
people struggling to develop and consolidate its liberty 
has an unerring instinct towards the sea." Forty-four 
years afterwards we find Prussia still in the same mind. 

" Prance has satisfied her colonizing needs by occupy- 
ing Algeria, England by colonization in Canada, Australia, 
and elsewhere ; while Russia expands into Asia. Germany 
at present has nothing in the way of foreign territory." 

This plaint of the Rhenische-Westfalische Zeitung, of 
Essen, is not difficult to understand. Immediately after 
Bismarck welded together the States which now form 
the German Empire the Kaiser's navy absorbed annually 
one and a half million pounds. Since then, the idea of 
colonial expansion has gained ground until we find an 
expenditure of 238,000,000 marks on the navy in 1905. 
The immense difficulties that have had to be encountered 
in the path of Imperial progress have cost, and are still 
costing, the country dear. 

When first arose this strong and united people the 
fat places of the earth were mostly appropriated, and 
Britons had got a very large share of the habitable 



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38 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

globe. No one could find fault 'With us for that. We 
are not to blame if Germany entered upon her conquest 
of continents a hundred and fifty years later than our- 
selves. Nelson and Wellington cleared the way for those 
exhibitions of our power which resulted in the raising of 
the flag in countries where British influence has been 
most salutary. Our explorers and navigators were of 
the first order, and the emigrants who left our shores 
took with them, I fear, almost too large a share of the 
nation's indomitable energy. Before the confederation 
of the States now forming the German Empire no 
nation really envied us, and with a world-position that 
was justified by startlingly magnificent results we were 
almost beyond hate. But those who climb the ladder 
of success very much higher than their fellows lose more 
friends than do the drunken and the spendthrift. There 
is a jealousy that is antipathetic to all success — the 
jealousy of mean and currish minds ; but the jealousy 
of Germany is not of this order. It is greater, nobler, 
and it ought to be not only the highest stimulus to our 
physical and moral advancement, but also of the greatest 
good to humanity at large. Rivalry of races is the 
noblest of all rivalries, and the obedient instrument of 
evolutionary progress. 

In 1886, Prussia, a kingdom which had grown stronger 
and stronger since the Battle of Jena, vanquished 
Austria after a six weeks' struggle ; the Prussian organiza- 
tion being almost perfect. She then gathered herself 
together for another spring. One day there came sud- 
denly the Franco-German War, forced on by Bismarck's 
ambition worrying the vain and incompetent. This was 
followed by the long-hoped-for union of German States. 

Kingdoms and principalities do not unite, however, 
except for a certain definite end or aim. And in this 
case the aim was that formidable national strength 
which the union of German kingdoms and principalities 
brought into existence — a power now so vast that, since 



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GROWTH OF THE GERMAN NATION 39 

Russia temporarily lost her international position, the 
once iron-bound Empire of the Teuton has become so 
mighty that there is no probable combination of Powers 
that could effectively hold it in check. With the growth 
of this Power there has also arisen a magnificent national 
jealousy, open and clearly avowed. The Germans have 
seen how famous we have become for the successful em- 
ployment and control of the inhabitants of other lands, 
and how profitable has been our exploitation of the 
almost unlimited resources of great virgin countries. 
They observe us extracting our two million pounds 
sterling each month from the Rand gold-mines, and 
colossal sums from our Gcldgruben in other territories. 
Thy note all this, and they envy us. 

If the British Navy should fall behind in its efforts 
to remain overwhelmingly supreme, the Kaiser, fired by 
patriotic covetousness, might indeed become a second 
Bonaparte if he so willed. But, fortunately for the 
world, the Kaiser is a man of perspicacity and lofty 
ideals, and he is entirely devoted to the welfare of his 
people. Although human in his sympathies and anti- 
pathies, he is nevertheless patriot enough to husband 
the strength of his nation against the inevitable hour 
when Fate shall decide whether the British or the 
German race shall become preponderant in this hemi- 
sphere. Meantime, his policy ever follows the line of 
least resistance, which is a very safe path to pursue. 

" We would not exactly propose that Germany should 
intrude herself into the sphere of influence occupied by 
Great Britain," says a German editor, " but there is a 
feeling in our country that, wherever we seek to occupy a 
foreign territory, we shall meet with the opposition of 
England." 

Precisely. We are still preponderant, and we desire 
to remain so. The nation is not entirely effete, not 
entirely lost in the vague mists of the Cobden Club 
doctrines, though our Radical statesmen would seem to 



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40 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

lack administrative ability. Therefore any interfer- 
ence with our possessions, or the territory of friendly 
States, would meet with very active opposition. 

The Machiavellian policy that ousted Great Britain 
from Asia Minor in 1888 is a safer game to play. To 
apply force with subtlety, to bring diplomatic pressure 
to bear in Constantinople, to arrest and confiscate under 
a flimsy disguise a railway owing its inception to British 
capital and to British enterprise, is less strenuous than 
to come forth and challenge our rights to the world- 
position we occupy. 

In his day, the Kaiser has had several temptations to 
put our national strength and world-preponderancy to 
the test. When the South African War revealed the 
colossal unpreparedness of our army, our wholly fair — 
if somewhat defiant — international attitude was found 
to be based upon most inadequate military power. With 
suoh a terrible example before him of the ass attired in 
the lion's skin, might not Wilhelm II. reasonably have 
felt tempted to defy us, and to take advantage of our 
disasters to seize some portions of our Empire on behalf 
of a people in whose hearts the necessity for colonies 
was then almost as pressing as it is to-day ? Officers 
employing tactical methods as obsolete as themselves, 
having forgotten the sharp, stern lessons of the African 
veldt as completely as our merchants and financiers have 
now forgotten the lessons of the Anatolian Railway, 
were not to be feared. An army " whose attitude was 
unwarlike in its essence as the extraordinary attitude 
of the nation " was far from being formidable. 

Though we were then governed by men who, what- 
ever their faults may be, cannot be called political 
recidivists, at that time, however, it was not the resolu- 
tion of the British race that the Germans feared, but 
the power of a navy whose supremacy could not be 
challenged. This, and this only, saved us from an 
attack from at least one of the Powers, whose*sympathy 



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GROWTH OF THE GERMAN NATION 41 

with our enemies was patent long before the outbreak 
of the war ; and there can be no possible doubt what 
would have been our fate at the hands of the German- 
speaking peoples if Germany had then had a navy the 
equal of ours, or if her forts had been as strong 
as they are to-day. Even last year the gunners in the 
Grimmerhorn and Kugelbaake fortifications at the mouth 
of the Elbe might have had a bad time at the hands of 
the captains of such vessels as the Duke of Edinburgh, 
whose 9-2 gun recently made a recorii of ten hits in ninety 
seconds, or the Drake, which now has the best firing 
record in the navy ; but a system of German mine- 
laying has been developed which will prevent our ap- 
proaching these forts sufficiently near for our fire to be 
effective. The guns in the underground casemates in 
Heligoland would remain unscathed against any British 
attack, and the fortifications at the mouth of the Weser 
are soon to be made impregnable. We raised the per- 
centage of hits made to the number of rounds fired from 
42-86 in 1904 to 56-58 in 1905, and 71-12 in 1906, but 
even this superb gunnery progress will avail us nothing 
against unapproachable defences. Furthermore, it has 
been decided to widen the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal in order 
to permit the largest warships to pass through. Two 
side canals are also to be constructed, one opening into 
Eckernf orde Bay, and the other into the mouth of the 
river Schlei, so that a fleet blockading Kiel will now 
have its work doubled. 

When we recollect that Bismarck considered Paul 
Kriiger the greatest statesman of the century — greater 
than Cavour, greater than Mazzini, and greater than 
himself — we can imagine what Germany felt dining the 
Anglo-Boer War. Bismarck credited Kriiger with dip- 
lomatic victories that could not properly be ascribed to 
the Transvaaler's genius or astuteness. In his youth, 
like all his compatriots, Paul Kriiger had the exquisite, 
undimmed physical vision of a baboon, but his mental 



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42 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

sight was too weak to enable him to see the strength and 
determination of the British people. 

" I had the Prussian Army behind me," said the great 
Chancellor, " but Krxiger has had to do all he has done 
without an army behind him." 

Events proved, however, that the President of the 
Transvaal Republic had a very good army behind him, 
imbued as it was by the spirit of patriotism ; but his 
principal fighting strength lay in Great Britain, in the 
shape of those racial decadents of ours who show their 
imbecility by countenancing every unfriendly act com- 
mitted by other nations towards our Empire. These 
men will live in history as the strangest anomalies yet 
produced by a race in the first stages of decay. They 
left General Gordon, one of the greatest of Englishmen, 
to die in Khartoum. That stain on our national char- 
acter was due to them. They are apparently so ashamed 
of their country, and so fearful of wounding the sus- 
ceptibilities of other nations, that they ought to get 
naturalized in Liberia or in Hayti, where external affairs 
would not vex them or lead them to bungle. The 
"Plimsoll" line, marking the depth to which ships 
may be safely loaded, was altered by the present 
Government in October, 1906, and now we find many 
cargo-steamers 5 to 6 inches deeper in the water than 
heretofore, thus putting our seamen in greater jeopardy. 
But this error of the Board of Trade is an angelic act 
compared with the Premier's alteration of the Imperial 
Plimsoll line in the ship of State. His surrender of 
South Africa has let down a craft carrying the highest 
destinies more than a few inches past the danger-mark. 
Already the Imperial vessel is in peril from the waves 
dashing over the bows. 

" Our country ! In her intercourse with foreign 
nations may she be always right ; but our country, 
right or wrong !" This is an admirable motto for 
Radical M.P.'s to frame and place in their bedrooms ! 



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IMMINENT NATIONAL DANGERS 

One of the most important questions is this : How do 
stand internationally ? We have buttressed oursel 
with an alliance and an entente ; but is our posit 
secure ? I say that it is insecure in the highest deg 
because of the lack of patriotism of the outspoken, < 
fashioned, Palmerstonian kind ; because of the cowan 
that permits nations to repudiate contracts wl 
they have made with us without more than for 
protests ; and because of the folly of limiting our m 
expansion when other nations are hastening to doi 
the number of their warships. 

Savoir rCest Hen, imaginer est tout/ Imaginat 
the highest quality of the mind, was exercised to 
fall by the workers of Great Britain during that 1 
and strenuous period when the Empire was being fore 
Each English artisan felt a personal interest in 
great questions which forced our nation into defen 
wars. If the Qayton-Bulwer compact had been 
pudiated early in the nineteenth century, each labo 
with a vote would have clamoured for the observe 
of the treaty. Now, however, our workpeople 1 
about as much interest in national affairs as thej 
in the doctrine of transubstantiation. 

The forces that are working with unerring preci 
against our commercial and naval supremacy are 
creasing everywhere ; they are of a highly-organized c 

48 



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44 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

acter, similar to those that laid low both Austria and 
Prance. On all sides we are confronted with the spec- 
tacle of the most magnificent metabolism the world has 
ever seen — the transmutation of the money gained by 
German trading in Great Britain and her colonies into 
the blood and tissue of imperial strength and power ! 
The United States is pouring treasure into the coffers of 
her Admiralty. Her annual naval expenditure is now 
as great as any sum voted by the House of Commons 
for the support of our own fleet in any year up to the 
outbreak of the Boer War. The German Emperor is 
alarming his subjects by advertising the national 
weakness in ships, in a manner calculated to make the 
most miserly hasten to lay the worsted stocking under 
contribution. The Powers with which German relations 
are merely " correct " are shown by implication to be 
threatening the existence of Germany. Hence every 
Flottengesetz is sure eventually to be adopted, and even 
the Socialists will in the end be silent. The most 
popular picture in the Kaiser's Navy is Roechling's 
" The Germans to the Front," representing that navy's 
unique tradition. Wilhelmshaven and Kiel are full of 
this work of art in engravings and oleographs repre- 
senting the 460 Teutons responding to what they were 
pleased to consider Admiral Seymour's " cry for help." 
" The Germans to the front, indeed !" Needless to 
say, they merely took their turn at the front, and as 
they lost but twelve men to the British twenty-seven, 
it becomes evident that the incident has been beautifully 
strengthened for political purposes by Ernst Mayer and 
others. 

When it comes to a question of national defence, 
the German Socialist is a better patriot than the British 
Radical, although the bureaucrats hate his colour- 
emblem so much as to be capable of sending a student 
to prison for allowing his dog to perambulate the street 
in a tall red hat ! Even Herr Bebel has had to admit 



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IMMINENT NATIONAL DANGERS 45 

that there is no withstanding the impetuous flood of 
the German military spirit. Drawn sabres and fixed 
bayonets taught the Nuremberg strikers a severe lesson 
last summer. We may put down Socialist acquiescence 
in German expansion either to force majeure or to free 
will ; it does not matter which, the acquiescence is there. 
Though the Teutonic leveller may squirm a little when 
the bill is presented, he will pay it in the end. 

Well, all this is the mere inception of a really serious 
competition for sea-power. Can we expect less from 
nations that make patriotism a subject in their schools, 
whose everyday songs breathe the very essence of love 
for their country, whose national ideals are the ideals 
of every schoolboy ? Both religion and patriotism stand 
for the knowledge of destiny and of the means of 
fulfilling it ! What do we know of patriotism ? Do we 
teach it ? Do we extol it as a virtue ? No ! On the 
contrary, the British patriot is usually regarded by his 
fellows as a crank. Country is the last thing the British 
workman thinks of, and the most serious newspapers 
invariably find excuses for insults levelled at, and 
injuries done to, Great Britain. 

Moreover, with the noblest Empire the world has 
ever seen, we find ourselves with a military system that 
contains no powers of expansion outside the limits of 
the small regular forces of the Crown. As Mr. Punch 
tells us, " It is the inalienable right of the free-born 
British citizen to decline to lift a finger in his country's 
defence." Weighed down with such knowledge as this, 
Sidney Herbert's statue looked so pensive standing 
opposite the old War Office in Pall Mall that it had to 
be moved to the quadrangle in the centre of the new 
War Office in Whitehall. Will Foley's bronze look less 
sad in its new milieu f 

Under the guidance of most obstinate and stupid 
leaders/, the^ Labour party in this country has preached 
for years sermons based upon Sir Henry Campbell- 



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46 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Bannerman's most dangerous and unpatriotic platitudes, 
so that it has become an article of faith with the British 
working man that fighting will no longer be necessary, 
and that, if he only returns Labour candidates in 
sufficient numbers, their persuasive oratory will not 
fail to remove all international obstructions and dangers 
without recourse to war. It is suggested that the 
game of propitiation may be safely played instead of 
the game of defence. Witness the Premier's recent letter 
to the Cobden Club, and the Speaker's articles, which 
almost ask Sir Henry to disband the army and navy. 
With colonies in their hands to pawn, Labour men 
think it will not be difficult to placate the too aggressive 
among our rivals. To recommend subscriptions to an 
organization such as the Australian National Defence 
League is the last thing in the minds of Radical and 
Socialist working men. It is left to Mr. Watson, the 
Australian Labour leader, to bestow the full accolade of 
shame upon the British nation. He considers it so 
suicidal to neglect preparations for defence against 
aggressors, as openly to advocate a system of compulsory 
training on Swiss lines. When the British Labour party 
produces a great and influential politician with such 
imaginative insight as Mr. Watson possesses, it will at 
once become the most powerful and preponderant party 
in these islands ; for its sincerity and usefulness will 
then be so apparent as to gain the votes of thousands 
who are tired of the broken pledges of Liberal Ministers. 
The Japanese, who thought rifle-shooting was part of 
the educational course in every British boys' school, 
and therefore adopted the system, will not imitate us 
much longer. Admiration will soon turn into contempt 
when they realize how rotten are the human foundations 
on which the edifice of our national reputation is built ! 
The army and navy became unpopular with the people 
from which they are principally recruited when it was 
discovered that the middle classes looked down upon 



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IMMINENT NATIONAL DANGERS 47 

the two services with contempt. The middle classes 
were entirely given up to money-making during the 
period of Cobdenite prosperity, when we were easily 
first in invention, manufacturing, and in trading — and 
their obsession extinguished their patriotism. Now the 
lean years are coming, there is no Radical statesman 
sufficiently alive to the necessities of his country, with 
adequate gift of vision and a personal magnetism 
powerful enough to make the army and navy popular 
again. After the terrible experiences of the South 
African War, and the callous surrender of the conquered 
territory to the Dutch, we may be quite sure that our 
reservists will never again answer the roll-call to a man. 
Our troops are sick and weary of the mismanagement of 
muddleheads, and our seamen are not less discontented. 
Patriotism has been killed by an ephemeral prosperity 
which has blinded some of the most puissant politicians ; 
the virtue is so extinct that the fashionable amusement 
of many excellent editors is the manufacture of rhetorical 
excuses for the misdeeds of our national enemies ! 

Meanwhile German Protectionists and German Free 
Traders are equally resolved to bid for naval pre- 
dominance. Let there be no mistake about this. The 
common object of all German parties is to remove British 
supremacy at sea, and to make the maintenance of the 
two-Power standard financially impossible, thus throw- 
ing the naval balance into the hands of Germany. The 
Kaiser's hope is that his biographers may be able truth- 
fully to say of him : 

" Fern vom Castell war seine Wacht, 
Das Antlitz gegen Osten." * 

If his hopes bear their fullest fruition our power will 
disappear. Even as Nature refuses to replace the 
enamel of a tooth destroyed by carelessness and neglect 

* Far from the Castle was his watch, 
His face towards the east. 



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48 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of her laws, so destiny will refuse to repair the self- 
inflicted injuries we may work upon the Imperial system. 

It is all very well for Baron d'Estournelles de Constant 
and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman to preach dis- 
armament, but can we disarm in the face of such peril ? 
In 1846 Gobden said : " I believe that the desire and the 
motive for large and mighty empires, for gigantic armies 
and great navies, for those materials which are used for 
the destruction of life and the desolation of the rewards 
of labour, will die away ; I believe that such things will 
cease to be necessary or to be used when man becomes 
one family, and freely exchanges the fruits of his labour 
with his brother-man." 

But even now how very far we are from this visionary 
state of things ! An absolute mm possumvs is the reply 
returned to the absurd, though well-meant, overtures of 
the Premier to Germany, and we see a sterner and 
stronger spirit of German patriotism rising like a 
buoyant vessel on the crest of the wave of the tide 
of anti-nationalism whch is flowing over Great Britain. 
The danger that menaces us is very real, very imminent, 
and it ought to be guarded against by the maintenance 
of a supreme fleet ; for naval power means the possession 
and retention of oversea territories, and naval weakness 
means their ultimate loss. The national peril was 
scented by our Colonies at the outbreak of the Boer War, 
and they realize it more than ever now. The keen 
watch-dog, Richard Seddon, sniffed it in the wind 
blowing over half the world. Our Australasian Colonies 
know only too well that the Kaiser is not keeping 
16,000 soldiers in South Africa, at a cost, it is said, of 
£600 each per annum, without some sort of arri&re- 
pens&e. The Empire needs more such mastiffs as 
Seddon to guard it — dogs that bark at sight of danger, 
and, if need arises, bite ! 

Our nation oughtWregularly to ask itself certain 
questions such as these]: 



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IMMINENT NATIONAL DANGERS 49 

1. If Russia advanced into Afghanistan, how many 
men could we place on the Helmund and in the passes 
of the Hindu Koosh ? 

2. If Germany declared war on France, how could we 
help that friendly nation ? 

3. If the Emperor of Austria were to die and such 
confusion arose in his Empire that Kaiser Wilhelm 
found it necessary to interfere, how would we stand 
when the balance of power was being readjusted ? 

4. If events in Holland led to German interference, 
or if war between Germany and another Power led to 
the seizure of the Netherlands, what should we do ? 

5. If, by some sudden coup, Germany effected a 
landing of her troops in this country, what would be 
the feelings of those able-bodied men who had never 
handled a rifle ? 

The suggestion that we should form and cement a 
vast commercial and military alliance with our colonies 
seems to come as a refreshing tonic after putting these 
questions to ourselves. When at last the nation is 
awake to this necessity, we must not make all our aims 
and intentions too public. Let us learn the art of 
" bluffing " from our German friends, and likewise 
practise it. Those who have read the " Memoirs of 
Prince Hohenlohe " and Lord Fitzmaurice's " Life 
of Lord Granville " know that twice in the decade 
following Germany's war with France Europe was 
on the verge of another and greater war. If Bismarck 
could have acted as he wished, Great Britain might 
now have been a subjugated Power. As Bismarckian 
cunning and resoluteness are qualities by no means 
extinct in Germany, we must also buttress ourselves 
with " secret conventions " and " treaties of rein- 
surance " with the great countries that we know as 
our colonies. When the " All Blacks " football team 
visited Great Britain, we wondered what was the 
secret of their brilliant " scrum " work. Their forwards 

4 



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50 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

appeared to be irresistible, and they walked away with 
their opponents. What was this secret ? Simply the 
understanding that every man in the scrummage was 
to direct his energy towards one 'point. Thus, they 
never pushed straight in front of them, as they were 
supposed to do, but they hurled themselves in one 
particular direction indicated by their leader, thus 
forcing a human wedge through the weightiest oppo- 
sition. 

Such a secret understanding between Great Britain 
and her colonies would automatically make our race 
facile princeps in commerce, military power, riches, and 
in all the finest arts of civilization, and, moreover, drive 
a solid human wedge of progressive peacefulness 
through all dangerous and irritating military and naval 
policies. 

On the other hand, if we fail to take advantage of 
the greatest opportunity ever presented to any people, 
the London Geographical Institute will have con- 
siderable extra labour in the near future — even after our 
Gambettas have struggled never so gloriously. Makers 
of atlases will require to issue still further editions, 
crediting to other Powers vast territories corresponding 
with the deletions in the British Empire, or they may 
have to mark as republics countries which now own 
allegiance to our King-Emperor. 



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VI 

SNARLS AND GROWLS OF THE GERMAN PRESS 

Germans love work intensely, no matter whether it 
be the study of Assyriology, Shakespeare, or the building 
up of an Empire. They have a power of concentration 
and a driving energy which are primarily the results of 
proper food and drink and an admirable educative 
system. At school they learn how to use their brains. 
They are trained, and not crammed. The Teutonic effendis 
who sing folk-songs in the Temple of the Sun, Baalbek, 
are as conscientious as the professors at Heidelberg. 
Germans work for the sake of work, even going so far 
as to build nests for the birds in their gardens : we work 
because we must. Industrious, moral, clever, shrewd, 
and, above all, patriotic, the Germans have begun to 
contest our world predominance and to covet our 
possessions, although no one in Great Britain hankers 
after one inch of their territory. Prom their own point 
of view, these ambitions are perfectly just and legiti- 
mate. The intentions of the Kaiser's subjects are as 
frank and clear as their energy is unlimited, and they 
will work hard for success. 

Pan-Germanism aims at the absorption, in a vast cen- 
tral Germanic Empire, of Holland, Belgium, Switzer- 
land, Austria-Hungary, Servia, Roumania, and Bulgaria, 
and possibly the gradual acquisition of the great colonies 
of Britain. Pan-Germanism recognizes that colonial 
expansion makes for the development of national force. 

51 4—2 



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52 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Already we perceive the beginnings of this vast absorp- 
tion, and it rests with us whether we will let it continue, 
or put an end to the danger of the domination of Europe 
by one Emperor. Even as chemical substances are 
changed into others by definite and measurable steps, 
so, imperceptibly, the wealth and power of one nation 
changes into the wealth and power of another. The 
wise nation is that which soonest realizes this truth. 

The Germans are trained thinkers and reasoners, 
whose intellect has not been mastered by the elementary 
problem presented by the question of taxation of 
imports. In the smallest things they are marvellously 
cunning, and they work out the most complex details 
with all the rapture felt by W. Hunt when he recorded 
the beauty of May-blossom and chaffinches' nests. 
They are not less careful with larger matters, and their 
keen, broad vision and wonderful foresight are amazing. 

It is the collective brain of Germany that we have 
to fight in industrial warfare, and to strive against for 
our continued naval supremacy, a brain that is inspired 
and reinspired by its own brilliant successes. We have 
already discovered that the German economists have put 
their fellow-countrymefti into the way of enriching 
themselves at our expense, but, not content with this, 
the German nation aims at more. Musing upon the rise 
of this great rival Empire, one thinks of the man in the 
fairy story whose stomach was so large that it could 
hold a whole ox and a hogshead of wine. When his 
acquaintances asked him to have a little to eat or drink 
with them, he would modestly say, " Yes, I'll have just 
a mouthful." Soon, however, they learned what his 
enormous mouthfuls really were, and thenceforth they 
always made it clear to him that his share would be an 
ordinary portion, such as they themselves consumed. 

Thus should we deal with Germany, who invites her- 
self to take part in councils at which her geographical 
position scarcely warrants her appearance. By dint of 



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GROWLS OF THE GERMAN PRESS 53 

much clamour, she procures and successfully absorbs 
one or two large mouthf uls, and now seems to be unduly 
avid for more ; but she ought at once to be told exactly 
what are her privileges, and the limitations of her 
position must be pointed out to her. 

No one denies Germany the right to expand. As the 
late Lord Goschen once said, those who are most at- 
tached to her culture cannot shut their eyes to the fact 
that her policy inevitably must be a policy of expan- 
sion, and even those who hate everything German 
recognize this fact ; but when the Kaiser's schemes of 
expansion threaten our Imperial interests we can tell 
him gently, yet firmly, that interference in affairs such 
as those affecting our highway to India, for instance, 
will never be permitted, and that concessions in the 
Persian Gulf are not to be expected from us. This 
really must be done immediately ; and, furthermore, 
we might do worse than adopt the advice of the Sydney 
Bulletin, and, retiring the Khedive to Constantinople 
with a handsome allowance, frankly run Egypt our- 
selves. Germany herself would have done so long ago 
had she had the task of civilizing the country. 

We are now face to face with the beginning of a 
struggle which, if our present national apathy be not 
merely temporary, must inevitably result in German 
predominance in Europe and Asia. We have thwarted 
Teutonic aims in several quarters, where they appeared 
to endanger our interests ; we have wounded Germany's 
self-love, and any self-love that is attacked is pitiless 
and merciless, because in its essence it is selfishness. 
The hate of the selfish is invariably stronger and deeper 
than the resentment of the generous. Moreover, a 
permanent obsession of the Conservatives of the Father- 
land is voiced by the Reichsbote and other journals. 
This is the fear that Anglo-Saxon, Slav, and Frenchman 
will unite in a war of destruction against the German, 
whom it is said they all hate with equal intensity. 



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54 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Germany is avowedly preparing to contest our 
supremacy more sternly and forcibly than she has 
hitherto contested it, and every battleship that she 
adds to her fleet makes our position more perilous. 
When a strong nation concentrates its energies on a 
particular object, it is usually safer to join that nation 
than to oppose its plans, for real concentrative unity is 
satisfied with nothing but success. In this case, how- 
ever, we must offer opposition to a certain strong nation, 
because its aims clash with ours. 

There is nothing secret about Germany's aims or 
efforts. She does her strenuous work quite openly, and 
there can be no doubt about her intentions. She did 
her best to show Russia that, in the event of war with 
us after the Dogger Bank affair, she might count on 
German support, and when the Chilian warships became 
British property her pro-Russian sympathy crystallized 
into expressions so offensive as to be almost a casus belii 
in themselves. She has lately got it into her head that 
her interests in Persia are of more importance than ours, 
and she seeks concessions in that quarter. It is obvious, 
of course, that we cannot regard these claims favourably. 
Even if Captain Mahan had not pointed out the dangers 
that would menace us in the event of Governmental 
neglect of British interests in the Persian Gulf, our own 
racial instincts would surely tell us that our position in 
Australia and in India would be gravely jeopardized 
by Germany's presence in that region. 

Even if the Shah did propose to give an annual sub- 
sidy of £1,000 for twenty-five years to a German college 
in Teheran, where Persian youths are to be instructed 
for the State service according to Prussian methods, we 
cannot regard these evidences of Teutonic activity as 
the basis of a claim to " special rights." The German 
Charge* d' Affaires conveyed effusive messages of thanks 
from the Kaiser to the Shah, with an Imperial promise 
to undertake the responsibility of maintaining the 



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GROWLS OF THE GERMAN PRESS 66 

college for ever and a day ; nevertheless, we shall not 
be disposed to tolerate the acquisition of a port on the 
Persian Gulf by the Germans when they come to ask 
for one. It is obvious, however, from the Kaiser's 
bland treatment of our Ministers that some such request 
will soon be put forward. 

The Deutsche Revue for August, 1906, claimed for 
Germany an interest in the Nile in a manner which in 
earlier times might have led to an instant collision. 
Seeing how wonderfully the British spirit has breathed 
fertility and prosperity on tracts of barren sand, envious 
Germany asked, through this mouthpiece, that her 
merchants should be specially protected in Egypt, and 
given all the privileges that we enjoy. She wishes to 
be nicely planted at the northern end of the Cape to 
Cairo Railway, so that, if war should again break out in 
British South Africa, perhaps she may be able to give 
the Boers something more than mere moral support. 

Having had such valuable presents from us in the 
past in all our other colonies, Germany expects even 
more privileges in the Sudan and in Lower Egypt. 
But the ideas of the Government, as voiced by Der 
Deutsche, the only genuine Imperialist organ in the 
Empire, are preposterous in the extreme. The German 
Consular agents, who form the bulk of its contributors, 
seem to have inspired this review to ascend to the most 
dizzy heights of megalomania. A Turco-German 
alliance is urged as a means of turning Britain out of 
Egypt bag and baggage, and of threatening our Indian 
Empire from Mesopotamia. After paving the streets 
of Cairo with gold, we are to give up the keys of the 
city to Germany ! But our altruism has limits. We 
have not created towns and villages in the desert merely 
that Germany and Turkey should benefit by trading 
therein. We have not erected a string of great hotels 
from Cairo to Khartoum merely to shelter specially 
protected German merchants. Egypt is ours by right 



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THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

conquest and by right of humane administration, and 
jre are no privileges in that country to give away to 
rmany. 

[n one of the numbers of Die Grenzboten for June, 
36 — a weekly review that is said to be imperially in- 
ired — we find that this important organ, which is in 
ich with the Wilhelmstrasse, produces a leading 
icle containing these unequivocal phrases : 
;< Let the German people keep a lesson from antiquity 
fore their eyes. Once before an England and a 
rmany of no less different character have confronted 
m other. They were Carthage and Rome. And old 
»me, with its policy of force and power, finally con- 
ered the cash politics of Carthage, and raised itself 
the position of the first Power upon earth. We have 
torical example when we say that the German people 
ist return from the imitation of the un-German 
rthaginian-British finance policy, and must go back 
the Roman-German policy of power and might. In 
other way can a really great Wdtpolitik be promoted, 
the hope, perhaps, of making ourselves ultimately the 
ding people in the world."* 

kf ter reading this luminous excerpt one cannot help 
iling at a remark made by Dr. Gruenwald, of the 
88t8che Zeitung. " I cannot resist," said he, " giving 
erance to my impression that all men and women of 
r country are sincerely desirous of eradicating all 
terness from the relations between the two countries, 
1 of returning to the friendship which formerly 
Lted them." The sweet blandiloquence of the famous 
tor is refreshing. 

jrermans, however, have every reason to hope for 
\ early destruction of the power of the modern Car- 
ige, because they see the country of their greatest 
als made the theatre of precisely the kind of internal 

I am indebted to that excellent newspaper the Outlook for the 
slation of this extract from Die Grenzboten, 



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GROWLS OF THE GERMAN PRESS 57 

political squabbles which ruined Hannibal, and eventu- 
ally led to the destruction of Phoenicia's greatest 
daughter colony. 

Let us contrast this Grenzboten outpouring with one of 
Cobden's utterances. Speaking in 1846, he said : 

" / believe that if you . . . adopt Free Trade in its 
simplicity, there will not be a tariff in Europe that will 
not be changed, in less than five years, to follow your 
example" 

In the same year — his period of triumph — he re- 
peatedly emphasizes the same thing. When, owing to 
the success of its campaign, the Anti-Corn Law League 
was abolished, in his panegyric Cobden said : 

" Our body will, so to say, perish, but our spirit is 
abroad, and will pervade all the nations of the earth. 
It will pervade all the nations of the earth because it is 
the spirit of truth and justice, and because it is the spirit 
of peace and goodwill among men." 

" It is a world's revolution, and nothing else," he 
again declared. And further : " We have a principle 
established now which is eternal in its truth, and uni- 
versal in its application, and must be applied in all nations 
and throughout all times, and applied not simply to 
commerce, but to every item of the tariffs of the world." 

A truly great prophet ! The rivalry of nations is a 
phase of the higher evolution, and, as we see, the com- 
petitive spirit is far keener now than it was in his day. 
Moreover, we have just read in the far too truthful 
" Hohenlohe Memoirs " that in Germany, after the 
Franco-Prussian War, it soon became clear that there 
was no cash to keep the Empire solvent. " Hence 
Bismarck's financial expedients — the adoption of Pro- 
tection by the German people, and the consequent 
acquisition of money, so that the Empire could live " — a 
policy so clever and far-seeing that it enabled Prussian 
savings bank depositors to have £388,000,000 to their 
credit in 1905 ! 



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58 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

This Grenzboten article, which we have quoted, is 
only one among thousands that have appeared in the 
important newspapers of the Fatherland advocating 
an increase in the navy for the express purpose of 
meeting Great Britain on equal terms. Journalistic 
opinions are more than straws which indicate the direc- 
tion of the wind of national sentiment. The German 
scribe is the true mouthpiece of his nation, and the tune 
he whistles is that which is in the hearts of all his readers, 
even before he gives it expression. The director of 
the Kolnische Zeitung is about the most important of 
the German editors, and it was his journal that printed — 
with execrable taste — the reference to " French uneasi- 
ness " at the visit of himself and friends to England. 
Fortunately, however, the foreign policy of the Kaiser 
is not greatly influenced by editorials ; still, the Redacteur 
is a power of sorts. 

Speaking generally, the German editor is charmingly 
naive. It is this worthy — who conveyed to German 
readers the impression that Cape Colony aided and 
abetted the Hottentot insurgents — who still affects to 
regard the question of Egypt as a pawn on the inter- 
national chess-board, or a valuable international asset 
in which his country has proprietary rights that may 
be exchanged for something else ; who asks in return 
for the abandonment of most ludicrous claims in Egypt, 
that we should grant Germany a new Kiau-chau on the 
Persian Gulf, and assist her in financing the Bagdad 
Railway until it is over the Taurus, across the Plain of 
Adana, beyond the Amanus Range, and astride the 
Euphrates ! 

The Kaiser seems to consider himself a sort of ground 
landlord of the world. like the Duke of Bedford, who 
stipulates for a special box and a private entrance to 
every theatre built upon his portion of London, the 
German Emperor demands Special privileges wherever 
our efforts have erected an obvious fabric of prosperity. 



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GROWLS OF THE GERMAN PRESS 59 

But neither the Kaiser nor his German financiers, even 
when led by the powerful Deutsche Bank, can move 
international affairs precisely as they wish. They have, 
however, managed to increase the ad valorem Turkish 
Customs dues from 8 to 11 per cent., which will give 
the Turks 40 per cent, more revenue, and Germany, 
indirectly, more kilometre guarantees for the Bagdad 
Railway. The construction of this line, without any 
safeguard as to our entire control of its final section, 
will mean a terrible harvest of trouble for Britain 
in the coming years. Therefore the German financiers 
who are now rejoicing in the spectacle of Turkish funds 
set free for the Kaiser's purposes, have every reason 
to be content with their work during the last few years — 
labours to which they have devoted that wonderful 
tireless energy which is an inseparable virtue of the 
Teutonic character. 

" In case of an Anglo-German war," says the fire- 
breathing Redacteur of the Berlin naval UebcraU, " our 
best defence would be to sow thousands of submarine 
mines on our coasts and in the straits of the Baltic, 
which would thus become untenable to the enemy. 
We must not take any notice of the antiquated idea of a 
territorial zone, limited to a few miles from the shore — 
that is a fiction only supported by England in her own 
interests." 

"More slayeth word than sword," runs the old 
thirteenth-century anchoress's proverb, and, indeed, 
this editor is a perfect Tamerlane ! We might go on 
and fill a book with such utterances, and it is hard to 
imagine that " an emollient press," to use the Spectator's 
phrase, can be looked for in Germany, no matter how 
many demonstrations of friendship may be organized. 
The utterances of the German newspapers are as deter- 
mined and unequivocal as the Kaiser's seizure of Kiau- 
Chau after he had received the Tsar's 1895 letter, which 
virtually gave him permission to acquire a footing in 



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60 TEE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

China, or the Tsar's fatal theft of Port Arthur after 
consultation with the Kaiser. The violently reiterated 
opinions of all German publicists are as unmistakable 
in their expression of Anglophobia as the action of the 
ruffian who day by day took upon himself the delightful 
duty of sprinkling a certain amount of corrosive fluid 
on the Shakespearean memorial at Weimar. 



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VII 

RADICAL NARROWNESS OF VISION 

The representatives of German journalism who recently 
partook of Radical hospitality undoubtedly came over 
here in order to help to weaken the entente with Prance. 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's marked leanings 
towards an alliance with Germany have been apparent 
for many years. But such an alliance is impossible 
whilst our understanding with France exists. Two is 
company, three is none ! The Kaiser's Government sees 
in our Premier a flaccid and unimaginative statesman, 
whose whole career has enormously benefited the 
German Empire. Therefore the bureaucrats fawn upon 
him, and endeavour to make him believe that black is 
white ! Germany cannot be more to us than an 
acquaintance ; she can never be a sincere friend — our 
world interests run counter to one another in too many 
directions. And if our present relations with the great 
Middle Empire pass for friendship, let us remember that, 
in addition to exaltations, friendship has its inquietudes, 
its sighs, and its jealousy ! 

Merriment shone upon the faces of those fifty editors 
when they left these shores, and Dr. Ernst Posse, 
of the Kolnische Zeitung, was not long in pointing out 
that the exchange of hospitalities between German and 
British subjects had caused deep disquietude in Prance, 
although at Greenwich this most influential editor had 
said the Germans would like to be allowed to make a 

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62 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

third in the Anglo-French entente / The editorial hearts, 
were not softened by the laudations of cringing Radicals, 
and the extraordinary activity in the shipyards of the 
Fatherland still continues to excite the wonder of the 
unsophisticated. 

It would be stupid of us to expect all our countrymen 
to apprehend the true meaning of these manifestations, 
and of that racial instinct which is turning the eyes of 
the Germans over-seas ; but Mr. John Burns ought to 
know of our danger, yet surely he cannot be aware of 
the real menace that lies in this strong anti-British 
feeling existing in Germany, or he would never have 
said at Manchester that, unless he could get a reduction 
of the army and a reduction of the navy, he could not 
promise rural housing, small holdings, Irish cottages, 
English homesteads, Crofters Acts, afforestation, and 
the opening up of the land ! 

One has no need to be a " strident Imperialist " to 
see the incompetency betrayed by this utterance. 
"The eyes of the fool are in the ends of the earth," 
quoted this wise Cabinet Minister, and we agree un- 
hesitatingly, but the eyes of the fool are vacuous ! 
Nothing great is revealed to the vision of Mr. Burns, 
whose view of life is apparently bounded by Battersea 
Park, and his imagination confined within the limits of 
an ordinary steam-boiler. Patriotic Britons wish that 
he had some useful geographical books in his enormous 
library of political economy ! 

At one time such a narrow outlook on things Imperial 
would not have interfered with racial expansion, but 
German and American competition have changed things. 
Mr. Burns, I fear, only too often confounds his thoughts 
with his dreams. So long as hostile German torpedo- 
boats keep out of the Thames, so long will the Labour 
school of politicians seek to divert the money that 
should go towards the upkeep of our defences into the 
pockets of the worthless and idle. Foreign travel has 



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RADICAL NARROWNESS OF VISION 63 

not improved our excellent Minister, who ought to go 
to school again in order to learn geography. He is one 
of that class of men — now sadly too numerous in Great 
Britain — whose fixed ideas are never disturbed save by 
tragic events. The eyes of the wiae are in the ends of 
the earth ! The real fool is the cheap rhetorician, who 
imagines that the aspirations of his own narrow little 
party represent the hopes and desires of the British 
Empire. The motto of all politicians should be 
" Pacta, non verba !" Labour members especially 
should take this to heart, because they represent a class 
that is only too prone to do its thinking vicariously. 
The poorer the constituency represented the greater the 
responsibility of the member. 

Let Mr. Burns learn first what our Empire is, and the 
part it is expected to play in this century, before he saps 
its defences. The forces that constructed it did not 
include that dangerous sciolistic knowledge which is 
the chief equipment of destructive politicians. When 
this Minister spoke at Manchester of reductions in the 
army and navy, did he quite realize that our great 
insurances, the fighting services, touch directly the 
material, mental, and spiritual life of all Britons, from 
these islands to the Antipodes, and of 400,000,000 of 
mankind ? 

There is hardly room in the world for two such Empires 
as ours ; therefore, unless our race braces itself to the 
prompt recognition of disagreeable truths, and prepares 
to meet apparent national dangers, disintegration must 
inevitably come, and our power will eventually dis- 
appear. These perils are very real, and they ought to 
be clear to the most unimaginative person. It is all a 
question of moving from a couch of laziness, and looking 
through a large open window at the world. That 
curious Oriental acceptance of the inevitable, which is 
so strong a characteristic of Radicals, must surely give 
place to some desire to counteract the German menace, 



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64 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

when at last they wake up to a sense of the formidable 
armada that is slowly bat surely being built to destroy 
us. We may even hope to get a penny or two from the 
working-man when we have brought him to the point 
of being put to shame by the pfennige of little girls in 
Germany ! 

Let me enjoin Britons to pay no heed to panegyrics 
of the Teuton from Mr. McKenna, the beloved of the 
German semiofficial press, but to endeavour to estimate 
the true quality of the professions of cousinly friendship 
from the comments of the German journals upon Mr. 
Haldane's friendly reference to the withdrawal of troops 
from South- West Africa. The editors considered his 
allusions to be of a provocative character, and the 
official publication of the German General Staff advo- 
cates the permanent retention of a powerful force in 
that interesting colony of theirs, precisely because the 
presence of the troops may be most useful as an offensive 
weapon against England. 

The advent of patriotic illumination in the hearts of 
the masses has been long delayed. The light from 
Arcturus, reaching us to-night, set out on its journey 
in the days of Queen Elizabeth. This light finally 
arrives, however, faint though it be. Thus the rays of 
political wisdom may eventually reach the hearts of 
the proletariat, coming down to them at last from the 
exemplars of our most noble and heroic age. 

The first symptoms of returning sanity are now 
noticeable, and we find the Gobdenite Spectator advocat- 
ing the adoption of universal training, "in the highest 
interests of the nation as a civil community, not on 
military or Imperialistic grounds." Mr. St. Loe Strachey 
deserves the thanks of all good men for his courageous 
advice : " We hold it to be the prime duty of the State 
to render its members good citizens, and we believe 
that such military training as we desire would tend 
to make our young men better citizens in every respect. 



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RADICAL NARROWNESS OF VISION 65 

The man who must rely solely upon others to protect 
him from attack and to preserve his liberty and his 
rights is not a " full " man, be he peer or peasant, 
Radical or Tory, Socialist or Individualist." England's 
authentic voice is heard in that. 

There is more difficulty in holding the Empire together 
than there was in creating it. Indeed, our great 
dominions have never been properly consolidated, and 
a mass of splendid materials still awaits the wise 
Imperial architect. But the retention of the Empire 
is of course our first care, and in case of a naval war we 
should find it hard to retain our colonies in their en- 
tirety. Further, we see that, in such a contingency, 
there would be more than a little difficulty in effectually 
defending our own shores, as was proved by the 1906 
manoeuvres, when, for the first time in her history, 
Britain was hopelessly beaten at sea. Although the 
victory rested with our own vessels, those who decry 
the adoption of Lord Roberts's suggestions, depending 
solely upon the navy, must now feel seriously per- 
plexed. 



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VIH 

BRITAIN EXAMINED BY GERMAN LAND SURVEYORS 

This century will witness either the consolidation of 
British power or its complete overthrow, and it is 
towards this eventual disaster that the thoughts of 
German statesmen are constantly directed with terrific 
dynamic force. As the confederation of States which 
now form the Empire of Germany in Europe was effected 
by the exercise of a wonderful statecraft, so also is the 
same racial diplomacy working now for the acquisition 
of exterior power. Fifty years ago, Cavour foretold 
that ultimately the German Empire would fight Great 
Britain and rival her upon the sea. Part of this remark- 
able prophecy has already come true. What did 
Treitschke say in 1884 ? " We have reckoned with 
France and Austria; the reckoning with England 
has still to come, and it will be the largest and most 
difficult of all our struggles." 

This is clear and unmistakable, and as it voices the 
feelings of most educated Germans, we shall need some- 
thing more than the assurances of the Berlin Tageblatt 
before we believe that Germany and England will never 
cross swords. Blood may be " thicker than ink," but 
our veins are full of a liquid that makes us sufficiently 
wide awake to be able to distinguish the difference 
between the snarl of a tiger and the purr of a domestic 
cat. Treitschke did not write anonymously either, 
like some dear old dowager pillorying her enemies in 

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EXAMINATION OF BRITAIN 67 

the society papers. He proclaimed himself on the 
housetops, and his voice was louder than a trumpet. 
Albert Schaffle has preached, and still preaches, in the 
same strain. 

In February, 1899, the Deutsche*. WochenblaU spat 
out its true thought : " Our motto should be, ' With the 
whole Continent against England !' " There are 
moments when only silence is eloquent, but no Briton 
can remain mute who hears such phrases as this. More- 
over, no Briton will be deluded by a false rapprochement 
brought about by German trade guilds, inspired by 
German Government officials, nor by the blandishments 
of German statesmen effusively grateful to a Minister 
who is more friendly to their country than to his own. 
We are surely wise enough to be able to distinguish 
between the kiss of Judas and the true salutation of 
fraternity. We are not entirely decadent: we retain 
some faint glimmering of sense ! 

" Bei dem Wunder unserer Tage 
Bei dem Kunstwerk deutschen Denkens, 
Bei dem Heidelberger Pass,"* 

surely I write the truth ? 

Professor Delbriick, the responsible editor of the 
Prevssische Jcrfvrbiicher, to whom William II. owes not 
a little of his knowledge, has given it as his fixed opinion 
that the next German Krieg will be a combat for the 
domination of Great Britain. Moreover, he recently 
declared that Germany must continue every effort to 
exert, through the Mohammedan sphere, a strong 
leverage upon world policy, especially taking advantage 
of Britain's position in Egypt. In urging this he seems 
to have overlooked, or perhaps seen only too clearly, 
that England in India is the greatest Mohammedan 
Power. But the ungracious, not to say mean, r61e of 

* By the wonder of our days, 
By the artistry of German thought, 
By the great cask of Heidelberg. 

5—2 



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68 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

embarrassing a domination she is still powerless to 
abolish— rthough she is strong enough to cause constant 
friction and annoyance — does not satisfy Germany. 
Even at this moment there is many a quiet but deadly 
Schlachtdenker of the Moltke type planning our down- 
fall. Anxious to be strong enough to attack us, and 
ever working towards this end, Germany is in a per- 
petual state of panic lest we should head a coalition 
against her before her great navy is ready. 

One day we find the Deutsche Revue insisting that a 
peace policy for Great Britain can only consist of 
holding out the hand to Germany, seeing that the 
entente with France is a permanent basis of British 
policy ; another day we have the whole German Press 
covertly inveighing against King Edward's friendship 
with the French people, and even directly accusing him 
of deliberately flouting the Kaiser and endeavouring 
to isolate the German Empire. Der Reich&bote devoted 
a whole front page last December to a base attack on 
the King-Emperor, writing him down as the sure and 
implacable enemy of the Fatherland, simply because the 
Wilhelmstrasse had not made it known that his Kiel 
visit was really an official one. The editor of Der 
Reichsbote knows perfectly well that our Sovereign's 
influence upon international affairs has been always 
pacific. As the Americans have recognized, whilst 
avoiding the appearance of officiousness in international 
affairs, King Edward is far and away the greatest states- 
man and most far-reaching diplomatist of his day and 
generation, but it cannot be too often repeated that his 
aims and hopes are peaceable. 

We have never ceased to be abused in Germany since 
the late Empress Victoria taught Bismarck that he could 
not treat a Princess of England as he would treat an 
underling in the Foreign Office. " Les injures sont les 
raisons de ceux qui ont tort !" A former pupil of 
Treitschke's, Count Moulin-Eckart, was once very fond 



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EXAMINATION OF BRITAIN 69 

of lecturing, and in one of his addresses he publicly 
expressed the pious hope that the genius of Bismarck 
might preside over a second Koniggratz, but this time a 
naval one. The German Emperor has conceived the 
idea that the Almighty has entrusted him with a 
mission to expand German power, and Grosser es Deutsch- 
land is a phrase which is in the heart of every German 
subject — a Orosseres DeutscMand to be built of the 
shattered pillars of the British Empire ! 

For years the most popular books in Germany have 
been those describing a possible war with Great Britain. 
Dozens of these works have been published, and I venture 
to say there are very few German " men in the street " 
who could not pass an examination in the topography 
of the eastern portion of England. In point of fact, 
the average German has the topographical instinct of a 
rhinoceros. 

In the autumn of 1905 a " staff ride " was held on 
the east coast of England. Last year certain German 
officers are said to have rented a house not far from 
London, and this was the head-quarters of the " staff." 
Not very long ago a Dr. Kurt Wegener — Leutnant in 
the Elisabeth Garde Grenadier Regiment — and a com- 
panion crossed the North Sea from Berlin and descended 
near Leicester, with their cameras. At one of the Suffolk 
coast .towns a German photographer was discovered, 
nominally dependent upon his calling. Our military 
authorities suspected him, however, and they eventually 
learnt that he was a wealthy staff-officer of the German 
Army. 

Everybody remembers the true story of the intelligent 
young Teuton who, at a London dinner-party, corrected 
an Essex landowner in a statement he made as to the 
supposed existence of a hill on a certain part of his 
neighbour's domain, and when the other guests expressed 
surprise at this wonderful local knowledge, the young 
German somewhat unguardedly explained that Essex 



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70 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

was the county his regiment specially and religiously 

studied ! 

Our east and south coasts are divided into districts, 
each in charge of a responsible German officer. Map- 
making is intelligently pursued by trilingual students 
who pretend to be learning our language. Paying 
guests of Teutonic origin may be best described by the 
letter X, for veritably they are unknown quantities ! 

" Pfarrer, du Kiihler offne dein Thor, 
Fahrende Schiiler stehen davor !"* 

There are Grerman officers ostensibly hunting in the 
shires who are engaged in military work. These men are 
as plausible as the young gentleman who invariably paid 
delicate compliments to his new landladies as they 
conducted him upstairs, so that their steps automatically 
turned from the direction of their third-best to their 
best bedrooms. By means of politeness our Grerman 
friends get all they want, and more ! We make no 
inquiries as to the intentions of our foreign visitors 
during their stay in this country, but in Grermany we 
must write down all particulars about ourselves and 
our business before bedrooms are allotted to us in 
any hotel. 

There are volunteer officers in England who have 
been known to say that, if you want a good, inexpensive, 
yet comprehensive, Ordnance Map of Great Britain it is 
best procured in Grermany ! It is a fact that foreigners 
know more about our navy than do our own naval men. 
In every German man-of-war there are charts giving all 
the details of our ships, down to the exact quantity of 
shell on board. We have no such details on our vessels ; 
our intelligence officers find it difficult work getting such 
particulars from secretive and patriotic Germans, whilst 
the Kaiser's Secret Service men readily pump our 

* Parson, thou who refreshest, open thy door: wandering 
scholars stand before it 1 



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EXAMINATION OF BRITAIN 71 

expansive and conceited countrymen of every essential 
fact relating to construction and equipment. Com- 
mander Crutchley, Secretary of the British Navy League, 
has done his best to impress the public with the dangers 
that lie in the admission of foreigners to our dockyards — 
men who speak English better than the majority of 
Englishmen — but the propaganda of his society have not 
the countenance of officialdom. It would be well, 
however, if we copied German methods in regard to 
our dockyards, arsenals, and mine-fields, and began to 
take an official interest in our Navy League, which is, 
as yet, far from being the important instrument that its 
aggressive rival has become. When more than £100,000 
a year is already collected in very small subscriptions, 
the young German Navy League has every reason to 
expect an eventual membership of millions. 

Even at Christmas festivities, when the spirit of 
peace and goodwill towards men is supposed to possess 
the hearts of humanity, the innocent cracker has been 
made the means of educating the Teutonic youth to 
keep in mind the Treitschke ideal. Fortunately, how- 
ever, evil spirits are said to be powerless on Christmas 
Day, and we still hope that German wishes may not 
injure us. At the stroke of twelve on Christmas Eve 
the evil thoughts of our enemies cease to harm us for 
f our-and-twenty hours ! 

" When we get our brand-new fleet, 
Won't we make the British squeak 1" 

The head of the man who wrote this cracker-motto 
is big and swollen, and it is nearly empty, like a boiled 
orange. The lines do not make a good couplet, but 
their meaning is intolerably clear, and it supplies the 
comic relief to the serious comments of German news- 
papers, which, for more than one decade, have per- 
sistently directed the most aggressive speculations 
against our nation. 



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12 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

" Selig sind die Sanftmiithigen ; denn sie warden das 
Erdreich besitzen !"* Or shall we say, " Selig sind, die 
da hungert und diirstet nach dem Erdreich ; denn sie 
sollen satt werden !"f 

Taking a lesson from the Germans, let us crown every 
statue of Britannia with Donnerhraut, in view of the 
angry mutterings of the oncoming storm ! We must 
have something to drive away the terrible thunder and 
lightning ! 

If we doubt that the secret hope of every educated 
German is to be able truthfully to cry before he dies, 
" Britannia deleta est !" we are fooling ourselves ! 
Our little cousin, who once " revered John Bull almost 
to idolatry," is " tired of life in crannies and corners," 
and is " contending valiantly for a place in the sun." 
The Colossus of the British Empire is to be broken up ; 
this is the Pan-German ideal, and an excellent ideal it is 
from the Anglophobe point of view. Sie hoffen class 
wir vertdlget, erwiirget und umgebracht werden ! J Ask 
any cultured German of the middle and upper classes 
whether Teutonic journalists will ever consent to recom- 
mend the reduction and eventual disarmament of their 
army and navy, and ten to one he will laugh in your face. 
The fact is, Germans of all classes are firm on this 
point. The General Election of 1907, and the rout of 
Socialism, show only too clearly what the Kaiser's 
electorate requires. Professor Mommsen once deplored 
the self-seeking of German political parties, and he said 
that the absence of broad national ideals was the 
Empire's crowning curse. Since then, however, times 
have changed, and the Fatherland has got at least one 
great ideal towards which all its eighteen political parties, 
overtly or covertly, direct their energies. There is but 

* " Blessed are the meek : for they shall inherit the earth " (St. 
Matt. v. 5). 

t Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after empire : 
for they shall be filled. 

J They hope that we shall be extirpated, strangled, and ruined. 



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EXAMINATION OF BRITAIN 73 

one Theodore Barth ! England has few other friends 
in the Kaiser's dominions. There will be no important 
reductions in German naval and military expenditure 
anywhere this side of the next war, because, confronted 
by the astounding political blunders of the present 
British Cabinet, the Kaiser's people have begun to 
believe in their ruler's oft-repeated statement, " God is 
with us." The Emperor's logic may be frequently 
questioned, and his rhetoric severely criticized, but the 
sincerity of his speeches breeds trust and confidence, 
for the nation as well as its Caesar builds the structure 
of its hopes upon history. 

One recollects an advertisement that recently appeared 
in the Kolnische Zeitung — part picture, part letterpress. 
The picture showed a clenched fist, holding a flaming 
torch at an angle of forty-five degrees, so as to illuminate 
the words " The World- War : German Dreams," which 
formed the title of one of that numerous breed of books 
dealing with the coming war between Germany and 
England, as " a settled item in the programme of Euro- 
pean civilization." This advertisement was worded 
so adroitly that one might have been pardoned for 
believing that the German Government was at the 
back of it. What did the great Dr. Posse think of it ? 
Did he hope that the German designs outlined in the 
book would come to " rich fruition " ? He thought a 
great deal, no doubt, just as he did at the time of our 
King-Emperor's visit to Priedrichshof, but he neither 
forbade the acceptance of the advertisement nor said 
anything in his editorials to influence the hosts of minor 
German editors to put a limit on the acerbity of their 
leading articles. Although Prince Biilow has assured 
us that their bitter tone was due to the hot summer 
season, during which subordinates replaced the chief 
editors, we make bold to disagree with him. As for 
those who doubt my reading of German intentions, I 
would ask them, in the words of Scripture, " Was 



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74 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

bedfirfen wir weiter Zeugen !"* Count Limburg-Stirum 
and other Teutonic politicians have even gone so far 
as to tell their compatriots to moderate their voices, 
because already Great Britain has pricked up her ears 
(through imprudent speeches and other declarations), 
and begins to look upon Germany as the coming 
adversary. 

The optimism of the Germans is typified by the words 
which we find printed beneath the Prussian eagle, 
Oott mil una. This motto of the kingdom, which is 
the dominating factor in the German Empire, expresses 
the belief of every German of whatever kind and degree. 
To the reverent Teuton, the magnificent confederation 
of States forming this Empire, by its very success, seems 
to have been specially ordained. And it is well that 
men should believe that God is with them. 

We admire the ceaseless activity of Teutonic 
patriotism, and the wholeheartedness of it, even though 
we often look aghast at the cold cynicism through whose 
agency many of its most startling results are achieved. 
The French Yellow Books do not inspire the thoughtful 
with a complete trust of German professions. The 
Moroccan difficulties were surely created in order to 
separate us from our Mends. 

There is no limit to German editorial wiles. If I am 
not mistaken, the only really Anglophobe organ in 
Paris, the Eclair, is conducted by a man with German 
sympathies. M. Ernst Judet may disclaim the honour, 
but I have good authority for saying that he is more 
than Anglophone. He it was who all too truly said that 
the vigour of the British Empire is largely made up of 
a superb charlatanism, and that it is incapable of with- 
standing a collision on terra firma. Through his leaders 
he invariably seeks to weaken the entente, and he delights 
in epigrammatic notes of alarm, such as that in which he 
likened the Anglo-French understanding to a rod meant 

* " What farther need have we of witnesses ?" (St. Matt. xxvi. 66). 



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EXAMINATION OF BRITAIN 75 

to deflect the course of the lightning, but which was 
sure to evoke the thunderclap. 

On June 26, 1906, Dr. Barth, one of the leading 
Teutonic Redacteurs, declared he would like to see the 
representatives of the German and English Press join 
together to educate their readers into something like 
goodwill and sincere peace based upon self-respect. 
Germany, he said, expected that every press-man who 
had the honour of representing public opinion would do 
his duty in working for goodwill and for peace ; but 
when the King's journey to Kronberg was announced, 
Dr. Barth and his brother editors had little to say about 
peace and goodwill. This fact is clear : Germany is 
like a woman clad in a dress of shot silk ; her colours 
vary according to the light in which she is seen ! She 
is also like a chameleon — an animal whose skin turns 
blue on a piece of blue cloth, and red on a piece of red 
cloth ; and therein lies a parable. 

Tactless, indeed, have been the overtures of the 
Germans to the ententecordiale. Whenever their editorials 
are intentionally pleasant they remind us of their own 
champagne, being sweet, sophisticated, and bad for 
British livers. The mordant comment of the Temps 
is well deserved : " The velvet gloves which bland 
Germania has endeavoured to put on have split too 
Boon, and disclosed the mailed fist. ... As an English 
diplomatist once remarked, the Germans succeed in 
everything except love-making !" 



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IX 

LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 

" Is there any British Empire ? There can easily be 
an immensely powerful one if Britons will be as loyal 
qs Greater Britons." 

Prom the other end of the earth comes this cry, to 
which let us pay heed. The British Australasian has given 
our national conscience a text on which it can preach 
itself a pretty sermon ! The editorial remark strikes 
home, for more loyalty is shown to the Empire by our 
Colonies than we display. Most of the Colonies are not 
afraid to insist upon general military service, whilst we 
imagine that we can fight our future battles without 
men ! An electorate which chiefly troubles itself about 
cricket matches, whose spirit is more affected by its 
favourite's bowling than by great colonial questions, 
cannot display Imperial loyalty. 

Suffering in every possible way for the wanton care- 
lessness manifested in the ten years preceding the Boer 
War, and weighed down with a huge new debt of 
£280,000,000, we are now waiting the next, and perhaps 
more terrific, blow at our national welfare in a condition 
which may be described only by the word " lunacy." 
True it is that Mr. Haldane has been inspired to 
establish the General Staff for the British Army, which 
was emphatically recommended in the Report of the 
Esher Committee, but this long-delayed step must for 
a long time result only in talk, and not action. It is 

76 



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LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 77 

energetic action that the best interests of the nation 
demand. But we have become a race of snivelling, 
cowardly, sluggish imbeciles, and the particular phase 
of madness which appears to afflict almost the whole 
of the United Kingdom is one not uncommon in lunatic 
asylums. We either imagine that we are a greater 
people than we really are, and that the world was made 
for us and for us alone, or we are filled with indefinable 
apprehensions that dishearten us, instead of stimulating 
our patriotism. Moreover, we .stupidly think that our 
exhibition of unerring valour and perspicacity in South 
Africa has ensured us against attack for a long time to 
come, and that the £280,000,000 we have lost can be 
lost again, without fear, in case we ever have to fight 
another handful of determined riflemen. 

Loyalty ! Do not let Britons talk about loyalty to 
the Empire ! Certain of our most eminent Radical 
statesmen do not represent the constituencies that sent 
them to Westminster ; no, they sit for Germany, for 
America, or for any other nation whose welfare depends 
upon Britain's ill-fortune. But the nation is too slothful 
to dismiss them. Even the extraordinary phenomenon 
of our greatest General adjuring our young men to rise 
up and protect themselves — entreating the nation to 
look into the future, and to provide for the black days 
that are coming — is insufficient to move us from the 
degrading sloth into which we have fallen ! 

Exquisite statues still slumber in the unquarried stone 
waiting for the informing chisel of the sculptor, and 
somewhere, hidden in the quarries of thought, are the 
very combinations of words that might at last rouse 
Great Britain from her vast indifference. Would that I 
might have the luck to discover the secret of just those 
mordant phrases that would make my countrymen as 
patriotic as the citizens of the United States, or of any 
other civilized country ! 

Yet how can I hope for success when the eloquence of 



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78 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

that noble patriot, Lord Roberts — whose only son fell 
fighting for his country's honour — fails to touch the 
hearts of our adult males ? Led by men who have not 
the courage to state publicly what they honestly believe, 
the unthoughtful British public jeers at this unselfish 
soldier from the false security of its Pool's Paradise, 
watching, with something like a child's amusement, the 
periodical attempts of Ministers to reform an army that 
is an army only in name. The national pastime of 
military reformation takes rank with the gladiatorial 
displays of the football field and international wrestling 
competitions. Our national trade-mark was once a 
lion. It ought to be changed to a sleeping domestic 
cat. 

Where a man like Lord Roberts fails to rouse the 
national energy, can a mere layman hope to succeed ? 
No combination of words could possibly serve to teach 
the addle-pated their danger. One thing, and one thing 
only, will do this, I fear, and that is the German Army 
backed up by the German Navy ! Sooner or later, 
somewhere or other in our huge and exposed Empire, 
that army and that navy will either lead us into sub- 
jection, or drive us into the consciousness of our 
individual responsibilities. 

We must never forget that kingdoms and empires are 
subject to the mutations that befall all living things. 
The old German Empire received the coup de grace when 
its western and southern portions fell away, and as the 
confederation of the Rhine came under the sceptre of 
Napoleon. In the same way, if Canada or South Africa 
should secede from Britain, our world-power would then 
receive its death-blow. There can be no standing still 
in the life of an Empire, even as there can be no station- 
ary period in the career of a man. Consciously or 
unconsciously, a nation is always growing either stronger 
or weaker. Are we, then, becoming more powerful, 
or are we becoming debilitated ? 



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• LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 79 

Let me be as frank as a relation who has no expecta- 
tions ; let me say that we could no more enforce our will 
upon a small European Power than our ships could 
climb the Balkans. Although we are said to be the first 
people in the world, we should be impotent before the 
attacks of any coalition strong enough to engage our 
navy whilst an invading army was being landed, and we 
should suffer so much from the destruction of our cities, 
railways, bridges, and waterworks, that the next ten 
generations would be committed to the direst poverty, 
even if the foreign occupation of our country was merely 
temporary. 

Empires disappear even as individuals, and they do 
not always attain a ripe age. Just as the sleek jaguar, 
prowling on the rich savannas, is suddenly attacked 
by the swifter and fiercer puma, so one Empire suddenly 
strikes at another. The Empire with the most cohesion 
has the greatest power of resistance. The most organic 
race comes out of the struggle victorious. We must not 
be blind to the lessons of evolution or to the examples of 
history. If we degenerate so far as to prefer immediate 
personal gain to national gain, if we discount our future, 
if we prefer personal quiet and ease to the duties of 
patriotism, we must lose our place in the world. Should 
the German race become fitter and stronger than the 
Anglo - Saxon, the Teuton will prevail, and rightly 
so. Even outside the German Empire there are 
16,000,000 people of Teutonic blood in Central Europe, 
who must naturally gravitate towards a strong Germany. 
Thus we have all the elements of a powerful military 
Empire of 80,000,000 souls of homogeneous nationality 
gathered together, as it were, waiting only for the word 
of him who controls the most perfect army in the world, 
who is building the most perfect navy ! 

We deserve to be overcome, and to go down bef ore^a 
stronger type of civilization, if we neglect Nature's laws 
so much as to be deficient in the energy required to save 



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80 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

our lives and homes. The world wants no weaklings, 
no effeminate sybarites, in the Creator's schemes of 
development. In the tropical forest — nay, even among 
the trees and plants of our own fields and gardens — we 
may perceive how the race is to the swift and the battle 
to the strong. Therefore, let us make ourselves fit in 
every way against the day when a strenuous, warlike race 
shall put our strength and courage to the test. When- 
ever men incapable of understanding human nature, 
and ignorant of all the warnings of history, advise the 
limitation of armaments, that is precisely the time to 
order a general mobilization of the navy for colossal 
manoeuvres. You may be always sure that whenever a 
certain section of the Radical party preaches economic 
reforms the danger to our Imperial interests is almost at 
its highest point. 

Truth to tell, there is little chance of our escaping 
national bankruptcy if another £280,000,000 should ever 
be required to pay for criminal blunders, and a war 
waged with a first-class Power might conceivably cost 
more than this, for it might have to be fought cm more 
continents than one, and in more islands than our own. 
With such a Government as the present in power there 
is the gravest danger of a war ; its un-British humility 
and cowardice being likely to tempt an aggressor to 
make impossible demands. If the period of mental 
aberration in which the country now finds itself should 
be long continued, it is more than possible that the 
driver of the train containing our wealth and everything 
that makes life endurable may flatly decline to accept 
the danger-signals, and hurl himself and us into perdition. 

The life-struggle of every nation and every Empire 
has to be waged sooner or later. The brown ruins of 
old civilizations teach us this, and more. Shall we, 
then, by an instant and comprehensive national reforma- 
tion, postpone this inevitable hour, or by our weakness 
tempt other nations to precipitate the conflict % 



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LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 81 

Patriotism is the cure for the strange moral disease 
that oppresses us. . Patriotism is composed of the 
rarest, richest, and most invigorating oxygen of the 
soul ; it braces, refreshes, and revivifies ! Would that 
we might know its salutary breath again ! Our 
patriotism has sunk so low that the drawings of the 
Dreadnought' 8 internal arrangements were procured by 
Germans from our own officials. When these details 
were first revealed in a German Service journal, it 
was thought that the leakage had taken place at Ports- 
mouth, but it was found that London was responsible. 
Does not this fact reveal a deplorable decadence ? 

Sooner or later the day must, come when ambitious 
Germany will have to be reckoned with, and, as has been 
wisely said, " all the winged words of all the great 
spell-binders between Margate and San Francisco will 
not avert it." There is, of course, an off chance that 
German policy may become dangerously inflated. The 
gases may so expand in the national balloon that the 
great bag may burst in its rapid ascent towards per- 
fection ; but this chance is infinitesimal. The Prussian 
bureaucracy has always measured racial risks with the 
two-foot rule of prudence. I am afraid that there is 
but little chance of averting an eventual collision. 
When we find such a powerful Conservative journal as 
the Reichsbote telling its readers, during the period of the 
1907 elections, that the defeat of the Government at 
the polls would be equivalent to giving the signal to the 
enemies of Germany to unite against her — and in one of 
its most remarkable leaders, bearing full evidence of 
inspiration,, the statement that, should the elections go 
against the Kaiser, the rattle of rifles might soon be heard 
on the western frontier, and the thunder of the Dread- 
nought's guns bombarding Hamburg — we really begin to 
think that Germany is asking for a war. 

We shall soon be called upon to prove whether we are 
advancing or retrograding. We cannot for ever hold 

G 



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82 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

our territories in peace unless every man in the United 
Kingdom prizes them even as he prizes his life, and unless 
we are all determined to defend them, if necessary, with 
our own hands. The day is coming when the possession 
of those lands which were indirectly secured to us by the 
victories of Nelson and Wellington will be disputed. 
The lights of the great altars on which were made those 
unparalleled sacrifices of our forefathers for their 
offspring are surely not too low down on the horizon of 
history for us still to see them ? Surely the signs of 
their struggles have not all vanished ? Are we proud 
to be descended from the brave ? Would we not also 
be known as courageous by those who are to follow us ? 
If we are to reconsecrate the valour and self-sacrifice 
of our forbears, we must now, at this very moment, ask 
ourselves whether we are prepared to make equal 
sacrifices for posterity, or whether we will supinely 
succumb to the onslaughts of the first great Power that 
attacks us. 
As Mr. Kipling sings : 

" Dear-bought and clear, a thousand year 
Our fathers' title runs : 
Make we likewise their sacrifice 
Defrauding not our sons." 

We have only to become ourselves again ; we have but 
to realize that the necessity for marksmen is as great 
now as it was in the glorious reign of Elizabeth ; that the 
military duty of the citizens of the United Kingdom is 
not less clear and not less obligatory now than it was 
then. We have only to remember that rifles, cannon, 
and men are the safeguard of our continued domestic 
security, and that sea-power is the Alpha and Omega of 
our external defence. After all, great as is the German 
nation, the British nation is greater. Our race has 
in it certain capacities for brave and silent endurance 
possessed by no other people. Even as English oak is 
tougher in fibre and stands the weather better than 



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LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 83 

Stettin oak, or the best Dantzic, so will British perti- 
nacity and determination outlast the efforts of our 
rivals, if only we to ourselves be true / 

The political equilibrium of the world being so much 
disturbed, how can we expect to survive as a powerful 
nation if we neglect our own safety ? Limitation of 
armaments will never be the policy of Germany until 
she has tried her great and growing strength, so we may 
dismiss the idea as visionary. Although we see the 
potential beauty and usefulness that lie in the innumer- 
able millions of golden pieces that are poured annually 
into Bellona's lap, and at the same time are fully aware 
of the happiness they might bring into all our lives could 
they but be diverted from the chests of war into the 
treasuries of peace, we know that, until the youngest 
European Empire has had its wings clipped, there can 
be no disarmament for Great Britain. 

The millennium is not yet, nor will it dawn until the 
workers in every industrial country in the world combine 
together, through the medium of language, to put 
labour in its proper place in human civilization. Nature 
never intended that men should work in unwholesome 
air and under evil conditions for even six hours a day. 
The chief aim of civilization, therefore, ought to be the 
constant improvement of humanity's physical con- 
dition ; the other much-needed ameliorations would 
inevitably follow this first and greatest. 

It would be immensely to the advantage of all peoples 
if the millions now spent upon armies and navies could 
be applied to man's amusement, instruction, and general 
well-being. These colossal, unrealized blessings are not 
only possible of attainment, but, I believe, preordained. 
They will not be guerdons from any King or any Kaiser, 
however ; they will be the supreme gifts of man to him- 
self. The power to abolish armies and navies is in the 
hands of those who labour in collieries, in foundries, 
in factories, and in workshops all over the world. The 

6—2 



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84 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

right to demand the exercise of that true Socialism 
which would universally shorten the hours of work 
whenever the introduction of an important labour- 
saving appliance menaces the interests of operatives, 
is also in the same hands. The proper exercise of this 
power and this right would place man appreciably 
nearer that eventual high pleasure in life to which 
Nature would appear to have given him the title. 

Yet we must remember that the effective use of this 
power demands an absolute international unity of pur- 
pose, general cohesion, and one vast intelligible plan. 
The formation of a strong Labour party in Tokio— led, 
no doubt, by English-speaking Japanese — is a sign that 
perhaps from the East may come the first practical 
proposals towards the international curtailment of 
humanity's heavy periods of toil, and suggestions that 
may bring man nearer to the proper fulfilment of his 
obvious destiny. The scientific brain of Japan could 
deal with this question as competently as it dealt with 
the Russian army and navy. 

Let us recall the important query which was lately 
put by the German Miners' Federation to their British 
confraternity : " Will our English comrades help us in 
a great strike by working one 4ay less a week, and thus 
prevent an increase of the export of coal to Germany ?" 
On matters such as these the whole question of military 
and naval economics absolutely depends ! But in 
order to deal with them thoroughly a leader is required, 
and Time will produce him. The man who combines 
the forces of international labour so as to form a huge 
workable policy will be a greater genius than Napoleon. 
When united international Labour regulates the amount 
of money to be spent upon armies and fleets, and the 
number of hours to be worked per day, the Tnil1«nwinnri 
will have arrived. Until that epoch dawns, each nation 
that desires to be great must keenly compete for world- 
position with its powerful rivals, and this competition 



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LOYALTY AND LABOUR MOVEMENTS 85 

ought to have nothing but salutary results. At any 
rate, the struggle between the British and German races 
must end in the triumph of the fittest, and thus hu- 
manity as a whole will benefit. 

Even Babylon's civilization and influences helped to 
shape the revelation of a religion entirely antipathetic 
to the worship of her gods ; thus, if the old spirit of 
Britain reasserts itself, the attempts of Germany to 
oust us from the premier place in civilization may end in 
our stepping into a still loftier and more important 
position. There can be no doubt as to our ultimate 
victory in this struggle if we only pay heed to the 
warnings which have been so loudly trumpeted near 
and far, if we only combine with our young and vigorous 
Colonies, and, united, face the world without a tinge of 
fear ! 

The African elephants might provide us with a lesson. 
When a herd of these animals becomes suspicious, it is 
possible to follow the spoor through the country for hours 
without being able to discover how many individuals 
there are together. One animal steps almost exactly 
in the footprints of another, and this is done until they 
feel safer, when they walk further apart. From the 
swift and almost tireless elephant we may learn the 
value of union, of cohesion, of careful statecraft — in a 
word, the value of perfect homogeneousness in all 
Imperial purposes. Let the herd of British elephants 
move with one cautious step now that the danger-note 
has been sounded ; the time for walking apart will 
come when the animals feel safer ! 



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OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE 

Men of Britain, have you ever reflected what a goodly 
heritage it is that you now possess — that splendid 
patrimony which has been secured to you by the courage 
and self-sacrifice of those who have gone before ? 
Knights in marble, lying by their ladies in the many- 
coloured silence of old chapels, have shed their blood for 
you ! Brave Scottish lads who lie in the fields by 
Hougomont, gallant English youths who sleep beneath 
the vines of Spain, fiery-hearted Irishmen who rest for 
ever near the sullen Tugela, noble New Zealanders, 
Australians, and Canadians who perished in the Trans- 
vaal — these all died for you, secure in the faith that you 
their kinsmen would as willingly lay down your lives to 
benefit others as they laid down theirs ! These, and such 
as these, have given you the fairest Empire the world has 
ever seen — a world-wide Empire, whose foundations are 
the bones of valorous men, an Empire the cement of 
whose splendid structure was mixed with the blood of 
hopeful youth ! It is your duty to conserve and to 
strengthen it. It is your duty to look deeply into the 
question of its conservation yourselves, and to throw 
aside, once and for all, the bitter prejudices and canker- 
ing obstinacies of party. 

Generous American millionaires have supplied you 
with free libraries, and even where ratepayers have 
voted for the refusal of suoh lordly gifts — as in St. 

86 



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OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE 87 

Pancras — councils, such as the St. Pancras Council, 

have insisted that you shall have such buildings after all, 

and that it is safer to begin paying the librarians 9 

salaries before the foundation-stones are laid. Therefore 

you will find no lack of free libraries. Pray visit them, 

and learn precisely what the Empire is ! You will be 

astounded and delighted when you know. For in it 

are lands immeasurably greater and richer than the 

secure acres on which you have been reared. Our own 

home territory, sanctified by time, with its churches 

that were used by the Normans, with its ruined castles 

and ancient bridges that knew the feet of Alfred's 

soldiers, stands for much with you, and rightly so ; but 

broader expanses and fairer climates have fallen to you, 

and these are to be the new homelands of your sons and 

daughters. Therefore, learn exactly where and what 

they are. Do not ask, with the Irish Member, " What 

has posterity ever done for us ?" But work ever and 

always for those who are to come after you — even as 

the ant and the bee indef atigably labour — and in this 

way you will taste a sweeter joy than you can ever 

know whilst labouring only for yourselves. Use the 

reasoning faculties which you undoubtedly possess, in 

common with the rest of civilized mankind, and examine 

all unselfish proposals which have for their glorious 

object the consolidation of the Empire. It may be that 

you will decide against them — who can say % But you 

can show British fairness in these questions, for the 

sake of the dead who shed their blood in order to 

make you secure and to make your country great and 

prosperous. 

Remember that the cumulative improvement of the 
world is very largely dependent upon the prosaic deeds 
of everyday life, upon the unhistorio, undramatio 
episodes of our personal histories. Therefore, make 
up your minds to do something, however little, to in- 
crease the comfort and security of the nation, both now 



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88 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

and hereafter. Remember also to credit your freedom 
and most of the advantages you now enjoy to those who 
lived strenuously and faithfully lives of self-abnegation 
— those who rest in graves unmarked by any stone, 
whose personal deeds linger in no man's memory. It 
is to the shades of the unhonoured dead, who helped to 
build up our greatness, that we ought to offer daily 
tribute of grateful thought and unselfish resolve. Our 
allies, the brave Japanese, win no battle without remem- 
brance of their dead. One of the chief duties inculcated 
by Shintoism, their national religion, is the propitiation 
and worship of the departed. Let us, then, learn another 
lesson from the East, whence cometh light, and let us 
likewise honour our dead by at least honouring what 
they secured for us ! 

If you decide in favour of Tariff Reform, or in favour 
of some sort of Compulsory Service, or to do your utmost 
to promote the true union of Great Britain with her 
Colonies, then I beg you to throw yourselves into the 
movements whole-heartedly. There is far too little of 
the unselfish spirit shown nowadays — the glorious and 
sincere altruism which was responsible for the presence of 
the Crusaders in Palestine. If your inner selves be con- 
vinced of the need of reform, then cry Deus wdt, as they 
did of old, and go into the conflict as heartily and as 
fearlessly as did the soldiers of Godfrey de Bouillon. 
There is nothing eternal in parties; there is nothing 
immutable in human ideas ; there is nothing irrevocable 
in Tariff Reform ; there is nothing absolutely binding 
in a scheme to teach all youths the use of the rifle. 

Suppose you agree to let Mr. Chamberlain have his 
way — what then % life in Britain will flow on, its surface 
quite unruffled, its depths undisturbed : nothing will be 
agitated save the hearts of our rivals. We have already 
a vast and cumbrous Customs machinery in operation 
around our coasts, and all that is needed to check the 
menacing growth of the power of our trade rivals is a 



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OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE 89 

new manifestation of the people's will. There would be 
no great changes, no immediate dislocation of business — 
everything would fall into line swiftly and automatically, 
and the immediate practical outcome of the new policy 
would be that the German exporter would be paying a 
tax of 10 per cent, for the privilege of trading in the 
British Empire. 

If you give ear to Lord Roberts, and you send your 
boys to the rifle-ranges, they will not be less manly or 
less healthy when they return home to talk over the 
friendly rivalries of the score-sheet. Remember that a 
hundred years ago, when the population of Great Britain 
numbered only 16,000,000, there were more than 
600,000 men under arms ; whilst at the present time, 
with a population of upwards of 42,000,000 — with larger 
proportionate revenues, and immensely greater Imperial 
responsibilities — the total strength of our armed forces 
is very little more than it was then. This being so, 
surely it is your duty to your country, to yourselves, 
and to posterity, to encourage your sons to shoot, and 
to take less interest in games in which they do not 
participate ! 

If, in the end, you should find retaliation — or, let us 
say, fiscal adjustment — impracticable, you could return 
to your old system of free imports. Tariff Reformers 
do not pretend to descry from Pisgah heights an illimit- 
able land of milk and honey, but they firmly believe that 
they do see a country afar off more fertile than the one 
they now inhabit. 

Yet there is nothing deliberate and final about any 
policy. Those who are dissatisfied with things as they 
are — those who discern the perils of a future in which 
we may be menaced by a Power stronger than ourselves 
— do not demand tribute in coin stamped in their own 
mint. They ask for cohesion, for combination, and for 
the evolution of the best Imperial policy from cohesion 
and combination. They see the growing menace of 



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90 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

German covetousness, and their motto is, So gebet dem 
Kaiser was des Kaisers ist /* 

Protection and Imperial Unity could be discarded as 
easily as were Mr. Gladstone's soundest opinions on the 
question of Home Rule. But if we are to hold together 
as a nation we shall never be able to discard Imperial 
Unity. The moment that the brotherhood of man is 
firmly established you may safely pull down your rifle- 
ranges and break up your weapons, but not before. 

In questions of domestic well-being are you timorous 
about making sacrifices when confronted by real danger ? 
Do you hesitate to make a stir in the Law Courts when 
your social existence is at stake, and do you grudge 
the cost if you issue therefrom triumphantly % If you 
believe in those Free Traders whose sole effective 
argument with you is the mythical danger of dear bread, 
let me ask you a question : Would you begrudge the 
extra farthing, which they say your loaf might cost you, 
if this farthing per loaf were to bring £50,000,000 worth 
of trade into your industrial districts, give you far 
more money to spend — possibly increase the rate of 
wages everywhere in Great Britain — and cripple the 
Power whose amazing progress during the last fifteen 
years has completely falsified Free Trade doctrines, 
whose dreams of naval predominance constitute our 
greatest national danger ? 

You would never be charged this extra farthing, how- 
ever, because the experience of all protected countries 
goes to prove that the exporter always pays the duty. 
The average price of wheat for thirty years after the repeal 
of the Com Laws in 1846 was two shillings and twopence 
higher than the average of the three years before the repeal. 

Once tried, I venture to think you would never 

relinquish the weapon of retaliation ; once tried, you 

would never return to the old foolish doctrines, and you 

would at once learn the meaning of the phenomenon 

* Bender unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. 



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OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE 91 

of absolutely unbounded German and American pros- 
perity synchronizing with our own good trade. A fair, 
workable system of Imperial Unity once brought into 
being, you would never go back to the present stupid 
syBtem of paying huge sums merely for the sentiment 
of Empire, merely to ensure the safety of foreign 
merchants ! For is it not true that our colossal navy 
and our expensive army are needed chiefly to keep the 
flag of Great Britain flying over Colonies from which at 
present we derive anything but our full benefit, inas- 
much as we share these markets with our competitors 
and potential enemies ? 

These loyal Colonies still love Britain, however, and 
for this fact let us be thankful. But how long will 
they love us ? We are brought face to face with them 
in the shape of visiting football and cricket teams. 
We see, as we saw during the war, what splendid 
specimens of manhood the Colonies can produce— men 
like the Springbokken, who can beat our British athletes 
playing football even in the British way ; men, like the 
New Zealanders, with all the dash, fire, and originality 
of a new country. We have continual chances of 
cementing our relationships, of fostering brotherly 
feeling, but do we take advantage of these opportunities ? 
If once we show that, as a mother nation, Britain is 
anxious to befriend her Colonies, a mighty fraternal 
movement will be set on foot that no amount of Radical 
blundering will ever be able to diminish. 

Free imports mean fiscal separatism, and if this obsolete 
system is continued much longer political separatism 
must needs follow. Mr. J. L. Garvin, one of the most 
brilliant writers on economic subjects, has pointed out 
that, under the present regime, Argentina, a State which 
gives us neither preference in trade nor aid in war, gets 
precisely the same treatment in our market, and exactly 
the same protection from our fleet, as Canada receives ; 
and in Canada, as Chatham said, the destinies of the 



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92 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

British Empire will be decided. Why should we pour 
out our treasure for the sake of our Colonies unless 
we can bind them to us reciprocally by ties of good- will, 
brotherliness, and mutual advantage, feeling sure that 
they are as much portions of Great Britain as if they 
lay as close to England as the Isle of Wight ? Better 
by far let them go their own way, and work out their 
future — as the Little England Catechism teaches — ally 
themselves with whatever Power seems most likely to 
be useful to them, fight their own battles, and mould 
their own destinies. 

Great Britain is like a whale. Most Radicals regard 
her as a fish with the power of raising an unlimited 
number of free and independent fishes, all capable of 
looking after themselves ; whereas she is a mammal, and 
every child of hers literally depends upon her teats ! 
But we British taxpayers cannot for ever continue to 
pay increasingly to ensure our flag flying over New 
Zealand, Canada, Australia, and the smaller Colonies, 
unless we can feel that they really belong to us and we 
to them, that their interests are our interests ; unless we 
are sure that a Canadian or Australian always opens 
his newspaper with his heart moved by the same Imperial 
thoughts that stir the souls of his kindred in the Mother 
Country. 

If the Colonies and Britain are not to become all in 
all to each other, we had better at once become disciples 
of the Positivist, Herbert Burrows, who tells us that 
South Africa ought never to have been a white man's 
country. "This so-called Empire ought to contract 
instead of expand," said this sapient person at the 
Essex Hall, London. " We must get rid of India and 
South Africa, where the white man dominates a coloured 
majority. ,, Here we have the frank expression of the 
damnable doctrine of the " Little England " school. 

Our present Cabinet has already taken the first steps 
towards giving up South Africa, and it may be trusted 



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OUR GLORIOUS HERITAGE 93 

to do all that is humanly possible to get rid of other 
portions of British territory. It is necessary, however, 
to remind positivists and others that such cowardly 
policy may conceivably react painfully upon its ex- 
ponents, and possibly more virile thinkers of another 
race may snatch what we have discarded. Then, I 
fear, life in Great Britain might be very tragic for such 
men as Mr. Herbert Burrows. 



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XI " 

GERMAN WAITERS AND GERMAN SOLDIERS 

It is very unpleasant to have to face certain actualities, 
but life often becomes disagreeable for our permanent 
good. The primary fact we have now got to recognize is 
that certain anti-national fanatics are going to give away 
to men of German origin and sympathies a vast inheri- 
tance in South Africa which has been paid for by the 
blood of our kindred. The next thing to grasp and 
understand is the reality and probable permanence of 
the forces of dissolution that are now working from 
within the very heart and soul of the Empire ! These 
awakenings must come soon or it will be too late. If we 
dally much longer, only at last to realize that Germany, 
has got the better of us, our plight may be more than 
serious — it may be fatal ! 

Unless we violently bestir ourselves, how are we to 
bear up against the astute and intelligent race that 
threatens to overwhelm us ? Get to know which are 
the vulnerable points of the Empire, and keep your eyes 
on them. A prince of French chocolate manufacturers 
possesses the Island of Anticosti, but this fact need not 
give you concern. What you ought to be troubled 
about, however, is that a German subject now owns the 
strategically important island of Sark,* and that if any 
one of his countrymen chose to buy Lundy Island for the 

* Apart from Sark, Prince Bliicher dominates the island of Herm, 
where ne keeps kangaroos. 

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GERMAN WAITERS AND SOLDIERS 95 

German Government there is no lawin the statute-book to 
prevent the transference of the property to German hands. 

Let these things enter into your minds, and permit 
your thoughts to examine them logically. Recollect 
that German espionage has been reduced to a fine art ! 
The Teuton is ubiquitous — everywhere we find him 
in the shape of cooks, valets, waiters, and clerks ; and 
there are German barbers to cut the hair which German 
bands have helped to whiten. These excellent men 
are indeed everywhere ! Remember that in almost 
every first - class hotel in Great Britain there are 
many actual spies — clever young polyglots, whose 
one idea is to learn as much about us as they can in 
every possible way. The number of German reservists 
resident in this country is appallingly large, exceeding 
by 50,000 the strength of Mr. Haldane's proposed 
expeditionary force. Excellent fellows they are — clean, 
smart, and obliging — putting our English waiters to 
shame. In their ranks are many secret service men — 
persons of standing and position — who perform menial 
duties from purely patriotic motives. The German 
waiter overhears the most interesting after-dinner 
confidences, and what he does not know about British 
affairs is not worth knowing. Small blame to them if 
they do learn our national secrets ; they wear but a thin 
disguise, these hard-working, patriotic fellows ! 

On the other hand, no Briton may put his nose inside 
a German hotel but the whole town is made aware of 
his identity, his business, or profession, and his metallic 
position. His movements are closely watched from 
dawn to sunset, the official registration being by no 
means an empty form. Thus the whereabouts of every 
stranger is constantly known, and treachery from foreign 
residents is absolutely impossible in the Kaiser's do- 
minions. Would that we could feel equally sure of the 
strangers within our gates!! 

Through its agents the German Government 



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96 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

manages to keep in the closest touch with every detail 
of our naval and military system. If the code signal- 
book of the cruiser Vindictive was not recovered from 
the sea at Sheerness in August last, its loss may be 
taken as a straw which indicates how the wind is blowing. 
This book contained the private signals of the Channel 
Fleet, and its disappearance is not only a matter of pro- 
found importance to the navy, but also to the Empire. A 
court-martial assembled on H.M.S. Acheron in Chatham 
Dockyard in December, 1906, and sentenced a second 
yeoman of the signals of the Amphitrite to five years' 
penal servitude for offering a boat signal-book for sale 
to Detective-Inspector Gough, under the impression 
that he was the agent of a foreign Power. It thus 
becomes evident that the decadence of the nation is 
developing treason and treachery of the most shameful 
kind. 

No British spies would be tolerated for an instant at 
such places as Cuxhaven or Kiel ; then, why should we 
suffer the presence of German spies at our seaports ? 
No Englishman was allowed on board the Dreadnought, 
and no foreigner was permitted to approach the building- 
slip on which she was constructed, yet all her principal 
details were known in Germany before we knew them ! 
At this very moment, in every important district of 
England, experienced German staff officers are at work, 
ostensibly as waiters and in other subordinate occupa- 
tions, but really engaged in minute geographical survey. 
Every main road throughout this country is accurately 
known at the German War Office. Could our General 
Staff honestly put good marks to the names of twenty 
officers in British regiments with special knowledge of 
German topography ? No ! We have a big navy — 
that is enough ! One of the most disquieting incidents 
of recent years was the appearance of a so - called 
" Spanish officer " at the Portsmouth Dockyard main 
gate in November last. He was clad in a boat-cloak 



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GERMAN WAITERS AND SOLDIERS 97 

and a most expensive uniform. After interviewing 
Admiral Sir A. Douglas, dining at the Naval Barracks, 
and swindling a sub-lieutenant out of £4 — apparently 
to put the authorities off the scent — this undoubted spy 
disappeared, but, one would imagine, not before he had 
seen everything about the dockyard that he set forth 
to see ! 

Owing chiefly to our extraordinary national contempt 
for sailors and our bad treatment of them, every other 
man in the British mercantile marine, even in the 
auxiliary cruisers, is an alien. In case of war with Ger- 
many these foreigners might be worth ten battleships 
to the enemy. It is well known that, in 1903, there 
were German outfitters in Hamburg who undertook 
to train boys for the German Navy. The lads were sent 
to England, where an agent procured them berths on 
British ships. When they had learnt their trade they 
returned home, and were recruited for the Kaiser's 
Navy. Several cases of this crimping were recently 
made public by the Board of Trade, and the excuse 
offered for what are really extensive malpractices is 
simply the statement that there are not sufficient 
training-ships in Germany for the growing needs of 
her armada ! On the other hand, it is said there are 
numbers of specially-trained German sailors in the 
British Navy, ready at any moment to play their part 
in case of war between Great Britain and the Fatherland. 

Disunited and helpless as we are imperially, with an 
alien crowd about our great harbours and dockyards, 
with a large number of the enemy's trained soldiers in 
all our towns and cities, ready to cripple our railways, 
public buildings, arsenals, and bridges, I am afraid we 
should put up but a poor fight at the outset of a great 
war with Germany ! 

It is said that the Kaiser was so impressed by the 
accurate knowledge displayed by the Berlin corre- 
spondents of English papers, and their grasp of matters 

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98 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

that were meant to be kept secret, that he ordered a 
confidential report to be prepared, giving details of the 
personal relations of these journalists with his subjects. 
He may set his mind at rest, however, for our national 
intelligence would appear to be as far behind German 
mental activity in smartness as His Majesty of Morocco 
is behind our King-Emperor ; and British knowledge of 
Germany is no more to be compared with German 
knowledge of England than the erudition of an ordinary 
Piccadilly fldneur with that of a Fellow of All Souls ! 

After the way in which the Colonies were treated 
by the nation at the conclusion of the South African 
War, have we any right to expect further military 
assistance from them ? If we consider how the principle 
of Preferential Trade and all other vital colonial ques- 
tions are handled by the people of Great Britain, we 
shall have no need to be surprised if the Government 
of the Australian Commonwealth one day makes a 
bargain with more intelligent foreigners. A people in- 
fluenced by financial necessities, as is the Australian 
nation, will not dally long with the sentimental aspect 
of the question. Both Canada and Australia have been 
continuously afflicted with the gravest misgivings as to 
the loyalty of Great Britain to the practical sentiment 
of Empire. They have seen their interests endangered 
by foreign Powers again and again, and not a hair in 
the mane of the British lion has bristled. Indeed, in 
one remarkable instance, the noble animal received a 
nasty blow from the wings of the American eagle with 
the craven attitude of a dog that has been beaten for 
raiding the dinner-table. Mere emotionalism may be 
treated contemptuously by the Mother Country without 
danger, but the rejection of business-like proposals may 
conceivably bring about stupendous changes. 

What should we do were Australia to enter into a 
commercial alliance or an emigrational understanding with 
Germany ? She might very well think of such an action 



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GERMAN WAITERS AND SOLDIERS 99 

if we seriously refused to reconsider the vital question 
of Imperial Unity. The German nation is increasing 
by nearly a million inhabitants every year : a large 
number of these annually expatriate themselves, and 
they are lost to the nation. Australia contains only 
4,000,000 inhabitants, and she is adding nothing to her 
population by natural growth or by fostering immigra- 
tion. Might not a commercial alliance with Germany, 
and an understanding as to emigration, easily lead to 
something else when the proper moment arrived ? 

Not very long ago thousands of Englishmen were 
saying quite openly, that if Japan chose to annex Aus- 
tralia we could not prevent her. Certain editors had 
referred to a possible danger, and the public immedi- 
ately jumped to the conclusion that Australia was at 
the mercy of Japan. Not a word did I hear about 
shedding British blood in the defence of our great 
Colony. Such a flippant national attitude towards a 
grave question of the future is enough to make the 
bones move in the sepulchres of Nelson and Wellington. 
But, of course, nothing greatly matters to a nation 
that is swiftly sliding towards an inevitable catastrophe. 
In these days of luxury and effeminacy the shedding of 
blood is out of fashion, and I venture to say that most 
Englishmen would view the annexation of Australia by 
Japan or Germany with the most perfect composure ! 

What blind vanity we display in assuming that the 
great Southern continent has not her destiny in her 
own hands ! Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and 
South Africa absolutely control their own destinies. 
Not very long ago a Canadian Minister made bold to 
say that Canada is protected by American warships and 
the Monroe doctrine. That man thoroughly understood 
the Radical character. With an apology for an army, 
with an untried navy, and with the South African mill- 
stone of £280,000,000 still hanging round the national 
neck, we seem to be reduced to a state of national im- 

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100 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

potency. Our gold reserves are depleted, and we have 
no Spandau treasure-chest to fall back upon. Our 
greatest reserve fund, the sense of nationality, the fine, 
burning, virile spirit of patriotism, was always worth 
immeasurably more to Britain than mere gold ; but this 
national asset is now so attenuated that I am emboldened 
to ask one awkward and inconvenient question : What 
would happen if our South African sore became a 
dangerous ulcer 1 Suppose that Cape Colony, Natal, 
and the Boer districts combined and declared their 
independence ? Disgusted beyond endurance at the 
present mismanagement of the Colonial Office, dis- 
heartened by the probability of the continuance in 
power of a Ministry egregiously hostile to the develop- 
ment of such important territories, and dismayed by 
the attitude of the coloured races, quite conceivably 
they might see in the prospect of union a refuge from 
grave perils engendered by a stupid Liberal Cabinet. 

Furthermore, we must take into consideration the 
personal popularity of the German Emperor. There is 
not a man in the British Empire who does not admire 
him, either openly or secretly, for his downright, patriotic 
sincerity. He may be generally disliked, but he is 
none the less admired, paradoxical though the state- 
ment may appear. He is, after all, the grandson of 
Queen Victoria, and, under provocation of unjustifiable 
slights, many of our colonists might consider a change 
of allegiance a very mild and excusable form of treason. 
If Wilhelm II. should effect a diplomatic conquest of 
any of our great dependencies it would not be sur- 
prising to men who have noted how the flippancies and 
sneers of those in authority at the Colonial Office have 
left their deadly mark in loyal hearts. 

Our King-Emperor is one of the best monarchs who 
ever sat upon a throne, and one of the ablest. I recently 
read a little story that has a moral for all Imperialists. 
The Bishop of London was trying to convince a meeting 



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GERMAN WAITERS AND SOLDIERS 101 

of workmen of the essential truth and pleasure of re- 
ligion. When he had finished, there was silence. One 
man, evidently fearing that the Bishop would be 
bitterly disappointed with his reception, held up his 
hand, and said, " I vote for God," and suddenly every 
hand in the room went up. If only our rigid Court 
etiquette, and our inelastic constitutional law, per- 
mitted His Majesty Edward VII. to try to convince his 
faithful subjects of the essential wisdom of Imperial 
unity, every brave heart in the nation would respond, 
crying, " I vote for patriotism, and for the federation 
of Britain !" Our Sovereign is beloved and trusted 
in every corner of his dominions by all parties and all 
nationalities, except by the malcontent Irish. His word 
is to be relied upon, his advice is always sound ; but this, 
unfortunately, cannot be said of all His Majesty's 
Ministers. 

Colonial secession or combination is a very real 
danger, and when we remember that the German 
element is exceedingly strong in the Transvaal, and that 
Boer sympathy is entirely pro-German, we must 
recognize that the Kaiser might possibly lend either 
overt or covert aid to a rebellious United States of 
South Africa ; especially now that he retains 15,000 men 
and seventy guns in his south-western colony. Naturally 
it is difficult to believe in the truth of the statement 
made at Kimberley by the younger Perreira, the raider, 
to the effect that Captain Siebert, a German officer, 
inspired the raid and paid £200 for its organization ; but 
the repeated assertions of this man at his trial, and even 
when under sentence of death, are very remarkable. 
Another and a more highly-organized rising is by no 
means improbable, and if such a terrible thing should 
occur we shall be rightly served. Faced by such a well- 
deserved punishment, we should be helpless ; we should 
sit down and break our hearts, we should make our- 
selves utterly and irretrievably bankrupt by a devastat- 



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102 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

ing, prolonged, and absolutely profitless war, and, 
finally, we should surmount the colossal edifice of our 
national folly and ineptitude with an entablature of 
eternal ridicule and shame. 

This is a question that may well give us pause. What 
should we do, what could we do, if all the principal 
local directors of South African mining companies 
(many of whom are of German extraction) became openly 
pro-German in sympathy, and a league was formed of 
the Boers, the Bond, and those innumerable persons 
who are dissatisfied with British rule in South Africa ? 
If Germany thus gained control of the Rand our world- 
power would disappear automatically, and the greatness 
of Albion would soon cease to be a theme for the tongues 
of her friends. Her prestige, her cleverness, and the 
remarkable utterances of Cobden would then be as absent 
from international thought as the jokes, the irony, and 
flavoured wit of Menander. 



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PROBABLE UNION OF THE COLONIES 

We have also to face another possibility : If Great 
Britain cannot bring herself to the point of meeting the 
Colonies half-way, they may conceivably form a strong 
Imperial Federation on a preferential basis, with the 
Mother Country rightly left out. Australia's treaty of 
reciprocity with South Africa may be the beginning of a 
more momentous movement. In the island-continent 
"Australia for the Australians !" is the cry, where men are 
thinking of their own future and of their own prosperity. 
Great Britain has never held Canada as she holds 
the larger part of her Empire, that is to say, by her own 
strength and will. Canada has ever regarded herself 
as the defender and champion of her own loyalty to the 
Crown. These verses, cut from the Toronto Qlobe, are 
typical of the outspoken loyalty of Canadian sentiment : 

" Deep round her lair the dim Sea growls ; 
Gaunt through her Night the Old Lion prowls. 

There, toothless now, and old, they say, 
She waits and rages, past her day. 

She passed her day ! When East and West — 
Each cub and whelp of her grim breast — 

Now writhing, tumbling, drunk with life, 
His fangs makes sharp on th' bones of Strife, 

And when the old roar shakes the Seas, 
The Hunters face, not Her, but These !" 

The Montreal Star has just reminded us in timely fashion 
that our premier Colony was ready to defend her alle- 

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104 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

giance at a time when it was by no means certain that 
the leading statesmen of the Motherland desired it to 
continue. Undoubtedly loyal, and in many senses more 
British than the people of the British Isles, Canada is, 
nevertheless, independent. There is nothing to hinder 
her from entering into an alliance with Australia, New 
Zealand, South Africa, the East Indies, and the Pacific 
Islands — nothing whatever. 

Such a federation would be a trade competitor even 
more formidable than the United States ; and it is not at 
all improbable that, disgusted with the incompetence 
of lean-witted British statesmen, and with a Parliament 
wherein flippancy and audacity are now mistaken for 
genius, Canada, in self-defence and on behalf of a race 
whose future existence seems to be imperilled by the 
mental and moral decadence of Great Britain, may 
one day determine to become herself the centre and 
soul of the Empire, and to impose her will even upon the 
Mother Country. She still smarts at what she considers 
the unjust arrangement of the Alaska boundary, and she 
has not forgotten the Ashburton settlement, whereby 
the State of Maine was given up to the United States, 
in spite of the existence of a map drawn up by Revo- 
lutionary leaders, and committed to Benjamin Franklin 
for his negotiations with the French Government — a 
testimony which clearly shows that this invaluable 
district was left in the possession of the British Empire. 

The touch of a young Under-Secretary, with a distinct 
pro-American bias, is surely discernible in the latest 
North American bungle ? Destructive indeed is the 
policy of Liberals in regard to every matter they handle. 
They always delight in undoing what has been well 
done. Reflecting upon then 4 witless policy, one thinks 
of what our late Queen Victoria once said to Lord 
Lytton about certain new advisers : " They have nearly 
undone in a few months all that you have for years been 
labouring to do ; but you must not be discouraged, for 



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PROBABLE UNION OF THE COLONIES 105 

I am not. It will all have to be done over again, no 
doubt ; but you will, I feel sure, be able to do it over 
again, even under increased difficulties, when the oppor- 
tunity occurs, and I think that the opportunity is not 
far distant." Let us hope that a similar chance for 
Imperialists is drawing near. 

Newfoundland laws forbade fishing with seine nets. 
In deference to the representations of a very small 
section of the people of the United States, these laws 
have been practically abrogated, and Americans are to 
be allowed to exterminate food fishes in Newfoundland 
waters. This is not the least of the intolerable wrongs 
which have been forced upon the loyal islanders. Too 
high a figure can be paid for American sympathy and 
friendship ! Does the United States think any better 
of us for craven exhibitions of cowardice ? Certainly 
not. On the contrary, their manliness will revolt from 
a nation too pusillanimous to urge and insist upon 
the retention of its undoubted constitutional rights and 
privileges. 

If we continue to give way in every question that 
arises, American demands may become more and more 
clamant, more and more unfair, until the situation is so 
strained as to cause the most tremendous political 
upheavals and changes. The home Government cannot 
with impunity override the enactments and restrictions 
of a well-conducted Colony. A few doctrinaires — one or 
two of whom have brains bursting with inexact know- 
ledge—have resolved to ignore the claims of Newfound- 
land, about whose local conditions they know next to 
nothing. The organ of the Newfoundland Premier, 
in ascribing this stupid blunder to " the craven policy 
of timid Downing Street bureaucrats," does not go 
half far enough. If we substitute for this phrase the 
words, " to the unreflecting and casual decisions of 
destructive anti-Imperialists," we shall be nearer the 
truth. 



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106 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

If our Labour Members are to terrorize successive 
Cabinets into suicidal naval and military economies, 
and into the committal of the gravest colonial blunders, 
it may be necessary to terrorize them into a conscious* 
ness of their duties. If the Mother of the Race becomes 
dangerously insane, then her daughters must see that 
her power to work mischief is restricted. " If Great 
Britain continues to place the Colonies in a subordinate 
position in all controversies arising with the United 
States — acting apparently on the principle that friend- 
ship with the Republic is the only matter of vital 
importance — there will come a time when the Colonies 
must and will assert themselves." These are words 
whose truth the immediate future will abundantly 
prove. 

Canada is one of the richest countries in the world ; 
her people are sane and clear-headed ; she is British to the 
core. Then, let her lead us in the coming days when 
reason is entirely overthrown in the parent country ! 
The shires of Great Britain across the Atlantic are 
capable of holding a hundred million souls in perfect 
prosperity. If men of our best blood continue to drift 
thither — sick to death of the canting hypocrisy and 
smug stupidity of these islands — why should not the 
Empire's centre reform itself where the racial stock is 
strongest ?* Why should not our King-Emperor hold 
his Court in Ottawa ? There is nothing inherently 
improbable in the transference of the seat of Imperial 
Government to a strong State, wherein the ideas of the 
people are not marked by a decadent and dangerous 
mutability. 

If any shreds of our old-time wisdom still remain to 
us in the days of stress and storm that are near at hand, 

* 'Perhaps there are men alive to-day who will see Canada the 
wealthiest and the most populous section of the Empire, with 
Colonial Conferences meeting in our Federal capital, wherever that 
may** be. It is our turn to indulge an optimistic mood/ — Victoria 
Times, B.C. 



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PROBABLE UNION OF THE COLONIES 107 

we shall strengthen every possible bond between us 
and our great granary, so that in time of need we may 
not die of hunger. 

Over 85,000 people of Great Britain were received 
into Canada's territories during 1906. Our young, our 
adventurous, our vigorous are there ; there also is the 
future strength of the race — not, not in England ! 

Cobden looked upon an over-seas Empire as a wicked 
gain to the nation, and he wished that the bonds between 
England and her Colonies might be dissolved. They 
may soon be strengthened, however, and perhaps in a 
way that will surprise those who still believe in Cobden. 
Great Britain's whelps may possibly turn and rend the 
old toothless lioness should they at last find her raging 
intolerable. This is a way that animals and virile 
primitive peoples have — the suppression of an old 
creature when it becomes a danger to the community 
is an inexorable law of evolution. Even to-day the 
Colonies see that to be Imperialists spells something 
like idiocy in England, and that the British electorate is 
unstable and untrustworthy, ignorant and obstinate. 
They now see that sacrifices of young lives on the altar 
of patriotism engender nothing but ingratitude in the 
minds of men in the Mother Country. The second be- 
trayal of the Transvaal is the last and greatest of 
betrayals and it sickfens them. We must not be sur- 
prised, then, if the Colonies eventually turn upon us 
and repudiate their allegiance to a nation that is drunken 
with a conceit born of a prosperity whose roots are 
fast in the remotest parts of the Empire. Without her 
Colonies Great Britain would be merely another Den- 
mark. 

To introduce self-government in South Africa after 
Crown government is contrary to all colonial precedent, 
and if the Dutch ascendancy — which must result there- 
from — should fulfil Bismarck's prophecy, Britain's other 
Colonies may decline to consult her, or to be guided by 



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108 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

her, in the future. To score off an imaginary debt to 
the Boers with an unnecessary Constitution is not an 
adequate discharge of the liability of the Empire to her 
own people, who fought in South Africa for the sake 
of the Imperial flag and race. 

To many this idea of eventual separation will appear 
unthinkable, but I may assure scoffers and doubters 
that in it there is nothing really unlikely ; and if one 
great daughter State secedes, the others will rapidly 
follow her lead. In Australia the question of Japanese 
immigration may bring the matter into the region of 
practical politics to-morrow. Germany's great psychical 
moment will come when the Imperial Parliament vetoes 
some colonial ordinance relating to Japan. Even now 
German spies are swiftly and silently mapping out our 
coasts in Australasia, especially those of the South 
Island, New Zealand. German visitors to that part of 
the world speak confidently of a time approaching 
when the whole of Australasia will be under the Kaiser's 
flag, and we may feel sure that somewhere in the pigeon- 
holes of the German Admiralty is a carefully-prepared 
plan for cutting our cables, and taking possession of 
a southern point d'appui. 

In South Africa, the blundering cleverness of our 
present Government may at any time cause an explosion, 
and the first report will be a salute to the growing 
greatness of Germany. In Canada, the cynical attitude 
of a Radical Ministry towards Imperial unity — smiting 
the hearts of a proud people in a country of stupendous 
prosperity — may soon give birth to a desire for complete 
independence, and when this wish becomes clear we 
may find that the longed-for freedom means an alliance 
with the great free States of the South. Canadians see 
only too clearly that Radical zeal for disarmament is 
attributed by practical Prussians either to self-interest 
and a desire to secure our present world-position at a 
much less cost, or simply to the beneficent inter- 



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PROBABLE UNION OF THE COLONIES 109 

vention of Providence on behalf of more deserving 
races. * 

But all these terrible possibilities would become im- 
probabilities if British hearts could once more be made 
to beat in unison with the hearts of their kith and kin 
over-seas. Once let a great and deep feeling of patriotism 
create a real Imperial unity, and all will be well. This 
unity, so simple in its essence, would have far-reaching 
effects. Probably the deep mind of Plato never con- 
ceived the idea of the junction of the Gulf of Salonica 
with the Gulf of Corinth, but a narrow canal-cutting 
effected the momentous deed. A still simpler process 
might effect the unity of Australia, Canada, and Great 
Britain. Let the Norddeutscher Lloyd supplement its 
service to the Australian ports ; let the idea of taking 
Australia, either peaceably or by force, possess the 
brains of imaginative Germans as much as they please — 
so long as the voters of Great Britain plump for solidarity 
nothing is to be feared, and everything is to be gained. 

" The glittering adventures of Imperial pride," to use 
Mr. Morley's fine though misdirected epithet, have been 
but the attempts of the mother to prevent her children 
from falling under the domination of unscrupulous 
foreign politicians. In endeavouring to keep her Empire 
in its present state of glorious expansiveness, Great 
Britain has been but doing what Mr. Morley considers 
it her bounded duty to do : she has ever had before 
her " the aim of mitigating the lot of the great mass of 
men, women, and children, who are always very near to 
nakedness," by ensuring them fields for emigration, 
where wholesome energy may be unfettered ; by creating 
markets for what their hands have manufactured in 
these islands, and by putting their brains in possession 
of an Imperial ideal that bestows more upon him who 
holds it, than his millions can bestow upon a pluto- 
crat who lacks this essential attribute of manhood. 
There is something in life beyond mere trading, beyond 



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110 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

mere peace and security, and this is the development 
of a great national ideal. Professor Butcher reminds us 
that Phoenicia remains a lasting witness of the instability 
of power resting on a purely commercial basis, and un- 
sustained by any lofty or aspiring aims. 

" I have no remedy for unemployment," said Mr. 
Morley whilst condemning our late war in South Africa, 
but he thought he had indicated a prophylactic by 
fruitlessly endeavouring to show that unemployment is 
the result of war. But the last South African struggle 
was righteous and necessary, as is proved by the graves 
of our brave colonists from the other end of the world, 
whose instincts realized a danger in Boer arrogance 
that scarcely could be set forth in speech. Had this 
war not been waged, our unemployed possibly might 
have been now numbered by millions instead of by 
thousands. 

We note, then, that Mr. Morley and his friends have 
no remedy for unemployment. Mr. Chamberlain has 
a preventive, however, and it is his specific that I ask 
you attentively to consider. " If a kingdom be divided 
against itself that kingdom cannot stand." This is the 
rock-basis of the policy he brings before you. He has 
attained to the widest possible knowledge of the forces 
which have created the German Empire and the United 
States ; he is aware of all those far-reaching influences 
that are developing these great federations. He wishes, 
therefore, thus to unify our Empire, and by a bond of 
agreement to remove the disabilities caused by the 
abysms of ocean separating its component parts. 
Imagine, if you can, that some convulsion of Nature 
has occurred, and that Great Britain and all her out- 
lying dependencies — the mighty continent of Australia, 
the gigantic peninsula of India, the vast territory of 
Canada, and every rock and island she possesses, now 
form one solid mass of States, joined together, let us 
say, in the place where part of the Atlantic Ocean now 



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PROBABLE UNION OF THE COLONIES 111 

lies : would there be then any difficulty in fashioning an 
Imperial policy ? 

This is in effect what Mr. Chamberlain desires you to 
do : he wishes you to gain, by a common agreement 
with the Colonies and by a simple stroke of the pen, a 
consolidation of interests similar to that which would 
inevitably take place if some unimaginable cataclysm 
brought all the States of the Empire together, frontier to 
frontier. For, after all, in the consideration of the 
Imperial idea distance is but a thought — a mere expres- 
sion — in no way interfering with the fulfilment of racial 
projects. Throughout the realms of our King-Emperor 
— so long as the metal of the race rings true — geo- 
graphical position offers no difficulty to the grand con- 
solidation of interests which it is Mr. Chamberlain's 
wish to effect. Texas and Michigan are widely sepa- 
rated, but the essential features of a fraternal policy are 
not affected by the thousands of miles that lie between 
these States, and their political ideas are as much in 
harmony as those of Newfoundland and Canada, now 
that our oldest Colony has discovered where her real 
safety lies. Hamilton convinced the North American 
States that the Federal system would mean future world- 
power, and that, disunited, they would each require to 
maintain an army and a Customs Service. We now see 
what glorious results accrue to a people that " thinks 
continentally "! The riches and power of the United 
States of America are incalculable, and their world- 
position is absolutely safe even against the whole of 
Europe in alliance, because they are buttressed by 
Canada and Britain, even as Canada and Britain are 
buttressed by them. 



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xm 

SENTIMENTAL AND OTHER TIES 

Look at the magnificence and the practicability of Mr. 
Chamberlain* 8 idea of Imperial Unity. He beholds, in 
the United States, a number of provinces— each the 
size of a kingdom — welded together into one all-powerful 
and homogeneous whole : not entirely by the persistent 
hammerings of any economic influence, but chiefly by 
the activities of individual patriotism, and also by an 
organic national determination to be united and great. 
He sees in the union of the many kingdoms that go to 
make up the great Empire of Germany an illustration 
of the essential force and value of military combination, 
and he also discerns that it is this consolidation of so 
many German commercial interests that has given the 
Teutonic race its present commanding and threatening 
position. 

In these days it is not sentiment that rules the world, 
but hard and stern facts, such as our hundreds of 
empty warehouses and factories — in districts like Ber- 
mondsey, Coventry, Pudsey, and Kidderminster — 
whose industries have been killed either by high rates, 
brought about by reckless municipal trading, or by our 
free admission of foreign manufactures. 

Every nation is striving, and rightfully striving, 
after its own ideals, its own well-being, and endeavouring 
to shape for itself a powerful destiny. All the greater 
nations (even the youngest and most imitative modern 

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SENTIMENTAL AND OTHER TIES 113 

State — Japan) have turned a contemptuous ear to 
Cobden's doctrines. 

" I believe," said the great apostle of Free Trade, 
" that the speculative philosopher of a thousand years 
hence will date the greatest revolution that ever hap- 
pened in the world's history from the triumph of the 
principle which we have met here to advocate." 

This was the victory of Free Trade, but the tremendous 
revolution then foreshadowed has not happened. In 
1904 no less than 453,877 emigrants left the United 
Kingdom, whilst only 27,984 left protected Germany, 
with a population increasing at a greater rate than ours. 
Why should these people have to leave our shores if 
Cobden's arguments were sound ? This is the reason : 
The superiority in manufacturing and trading which 
we gained under a policy of strict Protection has been 
gradually disappearing ever since Free Trade was 
established, and we have not enough work for an 
augmented population. 

Let us see whether Mr. Chamberlain's predictions will 
taste sweeter than Cobden's in the mouths of posterity. 
His policy embodies a noble and practical ideal, and it 
is the only safe policy to pursue. Every nation and 
every individual ought to fix on something attainable 
and something unattainable, towards which to direct all 
material progress and power. The march of intellect 
should ever be in the direction of a great ideal, even 
though it be vague and visionary. We must not despair 
because our most transcendent hopes are never realized ; 
because the pleasures of life seem always to lie in the 
pursuit of our desires, and in the endeavour to obtain 
fleeting glimpses of elusive things. We must, never- 
theless, always fix the spirit's gaze on the ideal, and now 
that we have secured our predestined share of the 
world, the very highest ideal that the racial brain can 
conceive is Imperial unity and the consolidation of 
Imperial interests. 

8 



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114 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

In Germany the national ideal is clearly apparent. 
It is selfish, of course, but only from our point of view. 
Why should we expect this nation to disarm after she 
has made her great sacrifices on the altar of Mammon, 
paid such an appalling tribute to Mars, and given such 
a costly offering to Neptune ? Egoistic Germany is 
striving to do the best she can for herself, and we must 
do the same. We must get back to our belief in the 
strength of the sea ; we must extol the prowess of our 
heroes who fought upon it, and thus make lads eager 
to serve in ships. Moreover, we must cause seamanship 
to be made attractive to them. British nationality 
has such traditions behind it that, like the cocoanut 
palm, it cannot really flourish, even if it can live, beyond 
the influence of strengthening sea-winds. 

Let me quote a fine passage from a great living 
writer : " Fundamentally, the strength of the nation in 
those things by which alone nations ultimately measure 
strength — in character and resources, armies and fleets — 
is the permanence of its ideal." Therefore let us 
fashion for ourselves a great new ideal, the federation of 
the Empire, and let us base it upon an immovable faith 
in our historic ocean-supremacy and the honour and 
uprightness of valiant men. Moreover, let us see to the 
national character. Every man should hold an inqui- 
sition thereon. Let us turn our eyes from ourselves to 
the nation. There is greater happiness for us the more we 
allow our thoughts to run outwards and the less they 
move inwards. The eyes of the wise man are at the ends 
of the earth. The eyes of a sensible nation are ever 
fixed on the fulfilment of greatness through organic 
unity. Let us again and again recollect that there 
was once a German Empire incomparably greater and 
more mighty than the present one, and that internal 
friction and misunderstanding led through severances 
and struggles to complete and final collapse. Such ruin 
we must at all costs avoid ! 



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SENTIMENTAL AND OTHER TIES 115 

At this critical moment in European history, how- 
ever, the Empires of Great Britain and Germany may 
be likened to two horses that are crossing a tract of 
boggy land. One of them, carefully ridden by its owner, 
makes long pauses between each advance, taking every 
step with elephantine prudence and sagacity. The other, 
handled by a clumsy deputy, has so misunderstood the 
nature of the morass that it has got fast in the mire, 
where it struggles miserably. 



8—2 



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XIV 

BRITISH ALTRUISM AND CALVINISTIC HYSTERIA 

Full well do the Germans know that we have been 
altruistic in our colonizations, and that our annexa- 
tions — which were, as Froude has it, the necessary 
results of the contact of order with anarchy — have 
brought manifold blessings to their country. Our 
cousins have benefited by our settlement of the waste 
places of the earth, and their pockets have been filled 
by our folly. Markets have been created for them in 
far-off lands, and order preserved therein by fleets, 
towards whose maintenance they have not contributed 
a single stiver. Wherever we go they go, and the motto 
of their merchants seems to be that expressive foreign 
proverb, " I stand for ever in thy shadow." 

Our charitableness has greatly helped to give them the 
wherewithal to build those battleships with which they 
propose ultimately to dispossess us of our riches and terri- 
torial honours. Erroneously, of course, Germany im- 
agines herself to be in the position of Tom Brown, who, 
being bullied by the big Flashman, gets himself into 
training preparatory to giving Flashman a sound drub- 
bing. This idea of hers is absurd and foolish, and it 
has given rise to the most insufferable aspirations. 
Against these hopes and aims, which imperil the security 
of our Empire, we must oppose an unflagging determina- 
tion and a strenuous spirit of self-sacrifice. 

Already we share the whole of our vast Empire with 
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BRITISH ALTRUISM 117 

the world at large, but British taxpayers are saddled 
with the cost of keeping the Union Jack flying over it. 
Foreign traders get more profit even out of the prefer- 
ential markets than British traders. Every battleship 
that Germany now builds is constructed largely at the 
cost of Great Britain and her Colonies ; but the day 
must soon come when the foreigner will be asked to 
pay for his own battleships. The nation must eventu- 
ally awake to the fact that, because of our iniquitous 
system of Free Trade, America has " passed us in a 
canter" — to use one of Mr. Gladstone's phrases — and 
Germany has become a rich, aggressive and too in- 
tolerant Power. When that period arrives, certain 
small sacrifices may be demanded of all Britons. They 
may be asked temporarily to pay a little more in taxes — 
to build two battleships for each one built by our 
rivals ; and, if the peril of the time should make this 
necessary, Britons surely will not decline ? In 1905 
we spent some £152,000,000 on municipal matters, 
and our total civic debt is fast approaching £500,000,000. 
Surely, then, having provided ourselves with baths, 
costly electric trams, steamboats on the Thames, and 
gorgeous workhouses and asylums — for all of which, 
in the long-run, the worker pays — surely we can spare 
a few extra millions a year as an insurance fund to 
guard against the destruction of the chefs-d'oeuvre of 
our County Councils and Corporations ? 

Seriously, however, we must recognize the importance 
of defence. The life-blood of our national prosperity 
is wasting away from a most vital artery, and it is 
imperative that we should apply a fiscal bandage to the 
wound. The backbone of British wealth is business, 
and we are not getting our proper share of the trade of 
our Colonies. For the unity of the Empire we require 
not only the bonds of sentiment, but the links of moneyed 
interest. It is all very well to confront the inquirer with 
the fact that our trade returns show enormous increases, 



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118 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

but this method of reasoning is valueless for the real 
purposes of argument, unless we are also shown the com- 
parative profits made on the turnover in any given 
number of years. My contention is that there are 
merchants now selling immense quantities of goods 
who are content with 1 per cent, profit when their fathers 
made 10 per cent, or more. A big business is one thing, 
a big profitable business is another. Moreover, we 
must always remember that, large as our trade returns 
undoubtedly are, their proportionate increase does not 
equal the corresponding augmentations shown by 
Germany and the United States ; and even in the present 
period of international prosperity, the enormous and 
intensely profitable business that has been done by our 
two greatest competitors makes our own trading returns 
look miserable. 

To preserve our immense inheritance for those who 
are to come after us, we ought to be prepared to sacrifice 
more than mere immediate wealth and comfort : we 
ought to offer our very lives if need be. But we shall 
not be asked to make these sacrifices unless our trade 
rivals seriously and actively resent our adoption of a 
policy designed to deprive them of wealth to which we 
only are entitled. Meanwhile, we may be friends with 
these opponents ; but we may show them— even as 
people playing at cards show one another — that both 
sides can be anxious to win the game and to trump the 
other's tricks. We may show them that we have not 
only an eye on our army and navy, but on our com- 
merce and shipping as well. It is all very fine for the 
Kaiser to indulge in the luxury of a large fleet, and to 
administer the nation's affairs in such a way as to create 
an Imperial debt which has expanded from millions to 
milliards of marks. He may hope for a big indemnity 
from some conquered nation with which to liquidate the 
debt, but surely we are not going to be the people to 
hand over the cheque ? Prince Salm, the energetio 



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BRITISH ALTRUISM 119 

President of the German Navy League, must surely 
expect that eventually his nation will recoup herself for 
present sacrifices. Are we to pay the big bill ? 

Dr. Drill, of the Frankfurter Zeitung, had no need to 
tell us that the conflict of economic and naval interests 
can never be obviated by international congresses. All 
civilized people are, indeed, rivals, and it is a law of 
evolution that this should be so. Yet, when one nation 
assumes an attitude which is more threatening than the 
bearing usually assumed by friends, it is surely time to 
think seriously of defence and of something more than 
mere defence ! 

The victory in the coming struggle — whether it be 
waged on the battlefield or in the markets of the world — 
lies entirely in the question of fitness, individual and 
national. The nation that is not smart and fit has no 
right to possess power ; its charter is invalidated. 
Nature, so stern and relentless in her eliminations, will 
have none but the best as ruling races. The rivalry of 
nations works for the ultimate good of human kind. 

Of course, men say that Germany is not a colonizing 
Power. To a certain extent this is true. She has 
never proved herself capable of administering effectively 
far-off territories, owing to the faults of a bureaucratic 
system, but I claim that she has never had half a chance. 
If Australia fell into the hands of our Teuton cousins, 
we should see their colonial matters managed differently 
there from the way they have been in East and South- 
West Africa. Give Germany a country of immense pos- 
sibilities, and she will create another Germany. Germans 
usually make more out of opportunities than we, for 
they have really attained to a higher plane of civiliza- 
tion. Sociologically they form the most perfect type 
of organic society in the world, with the single exception 
of the Japanese. 

Two things in Germany's favour are these : the 
country is not obsessed by a betting mania, and 



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120 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the public health is more zealously guarded in the 
Fatherland than it is in Great Britain. With chastened 
and humble hearts let us all remember what the Boer 
wrote to the Times at the outbreak of the South African 
War, in regard to the stamina of our nation. How his 
words came true ! How horribly, preposterously true ! 
We are a nation of hypocrites, and we shrink from calling 
things by their right names. We know of the existence 
of certain hideous diseases, and we are morally afraid 
to attack and uproot these diseases as we attack and 
uproot typhoid and small-pox. Ask any eminent 
physician, or any great oculist, if this be not true. The 
result of our hypocrisy is shown in the health of the 
nation, which is suffering, as the Boer said it suffered ; 
our virility is decreasing ; the family, which is the 
germ of the State, is no longer the greatest desideratum ; 
our energy is diminishing ; our national ambitions and 
hopes are threatened with extinction. 

There is a certain fungus, well known at places like 
Portsmouth, a rapid-growing thing that has been 
known to force itself through quite three inches of 
concrete and two inches of asphalt in a very short 
time. This fungus can make its way through hard 
substances that even rats cannot gnaw, and it reminds 
me of the hidden, deadly diseases that are not mentioned 
at Dorcas meetings — sufferers from which medical men 
lack the power to segregate. These diseases are effecting 
what no direct and overt attack on the nation could 
possibly effect ; their fungoid growth is piercing through 
the adamant of our patriotism, and whilst ruining the 
national health, they are unsettling the foundations of 
our racial character. Anyone who reads the concluding 
portion of Chapter xxiii. of Mr. Upton Sinclair's "Jungle" 
will rise disheartened and ashamed. Anglo-Saxon 
civilization is by no means the wonder it pretends 
to be ! 

The only thing that will save us, physically, is a 



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BRITISH ALTRUISM 121 

solemn warning from some eminent surgeon, who is 
bold enough to crown his life's work with the most 
noble, the most humane, duty that any man could 
perform. 

The Germans realize the beauty, the importance, the 
mystery, and the duty of life more than we. They 
do not imagine their blood to be of such incredible 
richness as to be able to withstand the attacks of two 
of the most subtle and dangerous germs ; they have 
no silly prejudices in regard to the stamping out of 
loathsome diseases. They are becoming stronger and 
stronger every year, because their scientific national 
intelligence has long recognized that health is the first 
thing in this world, and because they have grasped the 
idea that spirituous liquors are poisons : they recognize 
alcohol as a useful stimulant, of course ; but, still, they 
regard it as a poison. Therefore, drunkenness is not 
one of the besetting sins of the Fatherland. 

The Germans understand the duty of man to his 
fellows, and they practise the faith on which they lean. 
As for us, we consider that we have performed a prodigy 
of wisdom by appointing a Master of Hygiene in the 
Surrey County Council's schools — practically the only 
one in the United Kingdom — and the wise action of the 
Manchester municipality in warning its citizens against 
the evils of intemperance has been accounted a phe- 
nomenon ! Strange that this should be so when we 
know that, fully three years ago, the British medical 
profession issued a petition to the Government, asking 
it to introduce compulsory teaching in domestic hygiene 
and temperance in the elementary schools. Strange 
that such eminent men as Sir Victor Horsley should 
have to tell us, in the present year of grace, that Great 
Britain lags behind her Colonies in respect of such 
essential teaching. Strange, too, that our greatest 
physicians and surgeons should have to plead before 
Mr. Birrell and his predecessors for sane physical 



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122 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

tuition in schools ! Health should be the first question 
with all educational authorities, and religion next. 

In Germany men and women get more out of life, in 
a material sense, than we. They are happier, too ; and 
this fact counts for much. The spread of intolerant 
Nonconformity has injured our patriotic impulses : 
the narrower and gloomier the creed, the narrower and 
more parochial the patriotism. Nonconformity, which 
threatens soon to become preponderant, has always 
stood aloof from the military interests of the nation. 
Very few sons of Nonconformists obtain His Majesty's 
commission, or join the army as private soldiers, with 
the consent of their parents. A certain effeminacy 
goes hand-in-hand with some definite types of religion, 
proof of which has been afforded by the pitiable hysteria 
manifested in the recent Welsh revival. I need hardly 
allude to the strange emotion of the principal missioner, 
and the extraordinary influence he seems to have had 
upon his audiences ; but the dramatic displays of certain 
of his followers have afforded the most marvellous ex- 
hibitions of the prevailing national lunacy. Take the 

" Wonderful Woman of C " On a certain night in 

April, 1906, this poor creature was the central figure in 
amazing scenes. She threw herself on a table, appar- 
ently in great agony, screaming, " I love Thee ! I love 
Thee !" Meanwhile, around her, men and women 
gesticulated, shouted, prayed, and yelled with laughter. 
A hymn was started, and its harmony was interrupted 
by ear-piercing shrieks, and the thumping of tables 
and chairs. Eventually the "Wonderful Woman" 
collapsed in tears, and then, overcome by the heat and 
excitement, a young man fell unconscious into the arms 
of another. After this incident, the prophetess declared 
that the names of three professing Christians had 
been supernaturally disclosed to her as hypocrites ; 
whereupon a man fell into a woman's arms, shouting 
prayers, and he afterwards proceeded to wrestle wildly 



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BRITISH ALTRUISM 123 

with those about him. The meeting was next seized 
with an uncontrollable fit of hysterical laughter. More 
wrestling followed, one eager worshipper having to be 
forcibly restrained. 

Is this not enough to make the cheeks of the most 
callous red with shame ? If the blush does not come, 
then surely the recollection of the recent November bap- 
tisms in the Dee will raise it. Delicate young women, 
immersed in the ice-cold river in the name of religion, to 
the enthusiastic singing of " Hallelujah !" and " Diolch 
Iddo !" All such manifestations are symptoms of 
racial decay, of acute degeneration, caused by un- 
healthy food, defective education, and a lack of mental 
horizons. Those Radicals and Nonconformists of the 
extraordinary fierce species, bred of that cramped and 
ugly religion which has dotted the lovely valleys and 
hills of Wales with hopeless, insanitary Bethels and New 
Jerusalems, have much to answer for. Their sordid and 
miserable Calvinism is a brake on national progress. It 
discovers all manner of vileness in the innocent amuse- 
ments of the young, and it drives the poor creatures into 
hysteria — at the same time permitting the trickiest 
actions in business. This form of religion is the narrowest 
and worst, for it does not exclude outrageous super- 
stition. In the hill districts of Montgomeryshire and 
Cardiganshire people still firmly believe in witchcraft : 
men and women go about with yards of woollen yarn 
wrapped round their necks and waists, and there are 
those who languish and pine under the impression that 
the Evil Eye has been cast upon them. Such folk as 
these, however, are nearer to a proper conception of the 
truth than they imagine, for they are indeed under the 
influence of the Evil Eye. 

Prosperity, too, breeds a selfish dry-rot, which attacks 
the very centre of patriotism, causing lack of energy 
and national cowardice — especially that sort of con- 
tented affluence which credits Free Trade with Britain's 



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124 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

supremacy, instead of acknowledging the benefits 
derived from the riches of our Colonies, and our former 
great lead in all classes of industry — but religious mania 
works more harm. 

We must never forget that man is naturally a fighter, 
and that to snivel, shout, and wrestle in prayer-meetings 
is not his proper metier. It is not in accordance with 
Nature that nations should cease to struggle for the best 
positions in the world, and her laws do not ordain 
that this life should be entirely spent in unhealthy 
preparation for another existence. A nation, con- 
tent with its past achievements, and ceasing to struggle 
forward, must give place to a better one'. This is 
Nature's law. The life of a man is always an in- 
cessant bodily combat between the spirit of good and 
the spirit of evil, but there is no need to succumb 
in the conflict and cease to be a man. The life of a 
nation is one continual warfare between healthy and 
hopeful virility, and unhealthy, pessimistic, cowardly 
degeneracy. Nothing but degeneracy is responsible 
for the Welsh religious hysteria, and nothing but 
national degradation can follow its continued indul- 
gence. 

Therefore, let us make changes in our national 
education — such effective alterations as will render such 
decadence impossible. We shall then make an end of 
the unnatural national restraint that takes insults 
lying down, and results in our present lower place in 
the comity of peoples. This ignoble attitude is a 
symptom of degeneracy and belies the race. It is a, 
species of disgraceful false modesty, and although false 
modesty is the most decent of all forms of lies and 
deceit, it does not sit well on the countrymen of Drake 
and Grenville. 



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XV 

A STUDY OF KAISER WILHELM II. 

We must realize that in the Kaiser the Germans are 
led by a great patriot — a man of independent will, 
indomitable energy, and that political foresight which 
is an indispensable attribute of all rulers of high men- 
tality. To use Lord Curzon's phrase, he exercises " the 
intelligent anticipation of events " to the utmost. 
Once he possesses the fleet which his Admiralty has 
projected, he will give us proofs of his cleverness greater 
than any we now have. 

Some secure naval base in Eastern waters nearer 
than China would seem to be one of the greatest of his 
aspirations, and it is just in regard to such a vision as 
this that the Emperor's ambitions most irritate the 
people of Great Britain ; for our racial instinct at once 
recognizes the danger to our Imperial interests that 
would lie in his ownership of an Eastern port of con- 
siderable importance, even if it were not equal to the 
magnificent haven of Hong Kong, with its ten square 
miles of water, or as large as Sydney Harbour. With 
either of these secure anchorages, however, or any 
similar one, in the Kaiser's grasp, it is difficult to say 
where Great Britain would be in twenty years. 

A living proof of the truth of Champfort's maxim, 
" On gouverne les hommes avec la tete, on ne joue pas 
aux echecs avec un bon cceur," Wilhelm II. is the vital 
force carrying forward the* gigantic plans of Bismarck. 

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126 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Haughty and proud he may be, but in such minds as 
his the sentiment of pride is nothing else but the senti- 
ment of force. The life-force of the Kaiser is inex- 
tricably bound up with a passion for correctness and a 
superlative attention to detail. One may instance the 
Max Grube incident in April, 1906. Playing in " Wil- 
helm Tell " at the Theatre Royal, Berlin, Herr Grube 
rode on to the stage in buskins, instead of boots, in 
the " Apple " scene. Noticing this error, the Emperor 
was exceedingly annoyed, so much so that the actor's 
contract with the Royal Theatre was forthwith can- 
celled. 

The Kaiser is thunderously self-reliant, believing 
firmly in himself and his mission. " Aide toi, le ciel 
t'aidera " — this is the personal motto which seems to 
govern him. His irrepressible optimism, however, does 
not find favour with all his people. Such organs as 
the Roman Catholic Voiles Zeitung have told him plainly 
that the German Government embarked upon the 
stormy seas of Wettpolitik like a navigator who had 
forgotten his compass, and that the inconsistent and 
erratic course steered by the ship of State in those 
dangerous waters has resulted in exciting against it 
the suspicion of all foreign observers. But, despite 
such hints, the Kaiser presses forward, his sole compass 
a big patriotic heart, believing that God is directly with 
him, as He was with his forefathers. Every day he 
has reported to him the doings of Herr Bebel, the auto- 
crat, and Singer, the vice-autocrat, of the Social Demo- 
cratic party, and he rightly considers that his own 
mentality and driving power are equal to Bebel's 
brains and Singer's gift of organization. Bebel's quiet 
but eloquent speeches do not frighten him, and even 
the spectacle of the huge Singer with the big excrescence 
on his forehead, bellowing his forceful periods, has not 
disturbed his nerves. 

One day we find him receiving the late Mr. Alfred 



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A STUDY OF KAISER WILHELM II. 127 

Beit, discussing with him the Chinese labour question, 
and the desirability of constructing a double line of 
railway from Tiger Bay, in Portuguese West Africa, 
through German territory, to Johannesburg. Next 
morning we find him immured in his study, absorbed 
in trade statistics, or the accounts of his private porce- 
lain manufactory. The following afternoon, perhaps, we 
hear of him taking Professor Schiemann for a yachting 
trip in Norwegian waters, in order to provide inspiration 
for more of those brilliant articles in the Berlin Kreuz 
Zeitung, whose bitterness is not unknown in this country. 
The work of this Anglophobe ought to be more widely 
read, however, because he predicts that, in one or two 
generations, the Boers will take the place of the British 
in South Africa, and that we shall then no longer scoff 
at the coronation of an Indian as Emperor of India. 

Another day we learn that the Kaiser is immersed 
in the all-important question of hastening the rearma- 
ment of his artillery with new guns to outclass the 
French — and in this, by the way, he appears likely 
soon to succeed. Then we find him clad in his Cuir- 
assier uniform and carrying a Field-Marshal's baton, 
watching the brilliant operations of his army corps 
in the grand manoeuvres ; or on the deck of a battle- 
ship at Kiel, exhorting his sailors to remember that 
their greatest privilege is to uphold the honour of the 
flag. 

In the Fatherland there are Kaiser Eeden for gramo- 
phones and phonographs, and Kaiser Gesange for 
patriotic voices. William II. prefers to make his 
Ministers.his phonographs rather than be the instrument 
repeating their voices. The Emperor has only to 
breathe the wish that a German firm, corporation, or 
steamship company, should undertake this or that 
work for the advancement of some national cause, 
and the thing is '.'done. The^Kaiser desires it — that 
is enough for the average German to know. He can 



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128 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

place as much reliance on his subjects' patriotism as 
our Admiralty can in Welsh coal. The terrific, quiet, 
dynamic force of German patriotism is even as the 
slumbering might of a great anthracite coal-seam. 

The Hanover judges may fine the editor of the 
Socialistic Volkswille for printing the report of a judg- 
ment in the " stop press " column with notes of interro- 
gation and exclamation, holding that these marks 
constitute " contempt of court," but few men become 
angry. Even such a punishment as this does not make 
the people revolt against those who impose sentences 
for Use majesU on the slightest provocation. 

Herr Krupp, the great gunmaker, was cordially 
invited to send some specimens of his work to the 
Chicago World's Fair. He politely and reasonably 
begged to be excused. He said he could not possibly 
be expected to sell any guns in America, and that the 
expense of an exhibit would be enormous. 

The Kaiser is a sensitive man, though not so highly- 
strung as those Coburg officials deemed him to be when 
they bade the old umbrella-stall woman remove her red 
signboard for fear the Emperor and Empress might take 
offence at so open a display of revolutionary colours. 
Moreover, it is hard to believe that his objection to red — 
the Socialist hue — is so strong as to have warranted the 
arrest of Fraulein Edith Han6 by Prussian policemen. 
Full of a too fervent zeal, these men incarcerated the 
poor girl because she was leading her lap-dog Jumbo 
through the streets, the animal being attired in a scarlet 
coat and geranium-coloured shoes ! The Kaiser, how- 
ever, is most sensitive about the absence of important 
German firms at international exhibitions. Therefore, 
not long after this refusal of Herr Krupp's, Wilhelm II. 
had occasion to visit the Essen gun-works, and he then 
asked his host if he intended sending anything to 
Chicago. 

" No, your Majesty," said Herr Krupp, and he defer- 



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A 8TUDT OF KAISER WILHELM II. 129 

entially explained why it would not be to his advantage 
to exhibit his specialities. 

The Kaiser no more fears offending people with his 
advice than he dreads the publication of the third 
volume of Bismarck's " Erinnerungen," now in the Bank 
of England ; therefore he said, " It seems to me that, 
if I were in your place, I should exhibit." 

That was all. The Kaiser issued no commands : he 
is far too polite to do such a thing. With all his im- 
pulsiveness, his manners are splendid. His treatment 
of the remains of poor Adolf von Menzel, the artist, 
was a striking proof of his perfect courtesy and kindness 
of heart. Nothing less could be expected from the son 
of such a father and such a mother. As George Herbert 
says, " One good mother is worth a hundred school- 
masters." People are apt to be misled by the imperious 
look on the Kaiser's face, but physiognomy is not always 
a sale guide in the formation of estimates of character. 
Not all are villains who have heavy jowls. John D. 
Rockefeller has not got a pronounced chin, yet he is the 
richest man in the world ! The German Emperor, how- 
ever, can look fiercer than Napoleon the Great. He is 
of short stature, like Bonaparte, and he is credited with 
a military brain equal to the famous Corsican's. It is 
astonishing what warriors can be made of men who are 
under five feet and a half ! Nevertheless, the Imperial 
machine-made moustache is responsible for much of the 
hero-worship which his subjects manifest towards the 
Kaiser. 

The very day on which this interview took place 
Krupp countermanded his refusal, and began to prepare 
a display. It was so big that special cars had to be 
built to transport it. This is a good illustration of the 
Emperor's ascendancy over the German mind. He 
is not exactly a genius, but he has had a very narrow 
escape of being one. Augustus Caesar was not a genius, 
but he founded a new social system through his won- 

9 



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130 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

derful management of men. The power to induce a 
great ordnance manufactory like Krupps so to increase 
its plant as to be in a position to supply half as many 
guns again as Armstrong's works is not given to many 
publicists, either Emperors or laymen. 

Save the Socialists, the whole nation is as pliable as 
Herr Krupp. Even the town of Leipzig has reverted 
to the Kaiser, and the Socialist who won there in 1903 
is now back in obscurity. Occasionally one finds papers 
like the National Zeitung contrasting Wilhelm II. with 
" an Emperor who did not consider it his duty to proclaim 
his opinion on every subject under the sun, from hyssop 
to cedar," but, on the whole, Germany is ductile in his 
hands. It is related as an actual fact that when the 
Kaiser, in an address to a commercial body, once urged 
his people to learn English — for commercial reasons — 
the book-shops could not supply the demand that 
sprang up for English text-books. Thus it is with his 
people — a hint, a look from the Kaiser is more than a 
command. " Wilhelm II. : Regis voluntas suprema 
lex," as he himself wrote in the great Golden Book of 
Munich. He possesses the master hand in diplomacy, 
because, backed by the laudable aspirations of a great 
people, he can work successfully a series of gigantic 
operations, extending over a considerable period, with- 
out at any time exposing his nation to undue risks. 
Beading men's minds as he reads the newspapers, he 
knows precisely when and where to be rude and bluff 
and bold, and his rough-and-ready methods have made 
him a mighty force to be reckoned with. Whatever 
he makes up his mind to do, be sure he will do it, given 
health and strength. Whatever the personal ambitions 
of the Kaiser may be, he is certain to pursue them with 
that extraordinary tenacity of purpose and fearlessness 
which have already done so much for Germany. 

No wonder the Emperor believes himself possessed 
of almost supernal attributes ! We do not recognize 



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A STUDY OF KAISER WILHELM II. 131 

about him any specially protective influence. We 
merely see a mortal in whom are manifested many 
political sins, but no meanness. Great and powerful 
Germany, with all her faults, is exactly what he has 
made her. He is a man with a furnace lighted within 
him, an Aladdin, a sorcerer, and each German family 
ought to have Kenan's phrase neatly framed in every 
bedroom : " A defaut de Dieu, nous avons le Divin !" 

If a man displays considerable powers, he does not 
necessarily possess power. The Kaiser, however, pos- 
sesses power because he is a whole-hearted patriot, and 
his political desires reveal his heart. In his dynamics 
he occupies himself more with kinetics than statics, 
like Augustus, who sprinkled his private letters to 
Tiberius with Greek quotations, the Emperor is quite 
at home with the classics. The study of history is one 
of his favourite occupations. He can paint, and he can 
doubtless use the chisel as well as Sarah Bernhardt. 
With a little help from others, it is wonderful how much 
artistic work can be done. For great men to demand 
such assistance is no new thing. Praxiteles employed 
the painter Nicias to tint and varnish his statues. 
At any rate, the Kaiser is a judge of sculpture. He re- 
cently presented the British nation with a statue of 
William of Orange, by Heinrich Baucke, after giving the 
most minute instructions as to the details of the figure's 
dress. Wilhelm II. is as versatile as Sylvester Schaffer, 
the wonderful young Austrian, who can entertain an 
Alhambra audience for upwards of seventy minutes 
with his excellent fiddling, riding, shooting, and painting. 
Although he is only forty-eight, he can talk fluently in 
several languages and on every possible subject. His 
" Song to Mffr " is crooned in every German home. 
He can play chess and repair his electric-light fittings. 
He can preach a sermon every Sunday to his sailors on 
the HohenzoUern. He can also cook. True it is that 
the German Emperor has been known to appear ludi- 

9—2 



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132 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

crous in his versalitity, but only a potentate knows how 
much verve et esprit are needed in order not to invite 
ridicule. 

As Calderon says, "En el teatro del mundo todos 
son representantes " ;* but the Kaiser plays a leading 
part, and many eyes are on him ! 

The Emperor's vast schemes very much depend 
upon the Centre party, which occupies in the Reichstag 
the somewhat equivocal position of the Irish in our own 
House of Commons. Yet, although he relaxes the law 
against the Jesuits, and now permits individual members 
of that sect to reside in the Fatherland, he still considers 
himself — and is considered by his subjects — the Eck- 
stein, or corner-stone, of the Church of Martin Luther ; 
and I think I may safely say that he is none the less 
secretly admired and respected by his avowed Catholic 
antagonists, Dr. Spahn, Dr. Roeren, and that German 
Winston Churchill, Matthias Erzberger. 

"... The gods approve 
The depth and not the tumult of the soul," 

as Wordsworth tells us in " Laodamia " — himself then 
speaking with the authentic voice — but the Kaiser's 
tumultuous energy is the commotion of an immeasurably 
deep sea. Of him it may be written what was said of 
the great Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria : " Whatever he 
does has hands and feet." He gets up every morning 
obsessed with his paramount idea, and he is always ready 
for work. He labours insatiably. Whilst his remote 
cousin the late Shah of Persia was knitting silk stock- 
ings for his personal friends, Kaiser Wilhelm was engaged 
in plans for the perfection of his navy. Nowadays, 
when our Labour candidates seem disposed to urge the 
substitution of " Virtuti non armis fido " for our good 
old downright motto of " Dieu et mon droit," the Kaiser 
is coining bellicose phrases that stimulate patriotic 
* " In the theatre of the world all are actors." 



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A STUDY OF KAISER WILEELM II. 133 

ardour, and lead to the payment of supplemental taxes 
for the increase of the national Armada. 

M. Lockroy predicted, in 1900, that a cautious and 
frugal Reichstag would eventually give way to the 
Emperor's naval enthusiasm, and M. Lockroy has been 
proved to be right. In season and out of season 
Wilhelm II. repeats that, even as Frederick the Great 
was never forsaken by God — " his old ally " — he hopes 
also never to be left in the lurch. Reiteration has done 
its work, and his subjects now believe in the Divine 
character of his mission. Moreover, when he constantly 
evolves fresh vows from his treasure of recollections and 
from the golden loyalty of his people, and when the sub- 
ject of these vows is ever the determination to devote 
himself to one single task — that of bringing his country 
forward— he is sure to possess the blind confidence 
of the majority. 

Prom his own point of view Kaiser Wilhelm is quite 
right. The Emperor sees in his navy a splendid invest- 
ment that, when completed, will eventually pay him 
back all that has been spent upon it, and bring dividends, 
moreover, that will make the French indemnity milliards 
look insignificant. To him this Armada is almost the 
be-all and end-all of existence. He fidgets about its 
fog-horns, and rages when accidents occur to its torpedo- 
boats. If his Admiralty — even in time of peace — did not 
possess a proper salvage corps, the Kaiser would never 
sleep at night. In matters relating to the salvage of ships 
the German Admiralty has, indeed, little to learn, even 
from Japan. In a word, the Emperor is gradually mes- 
merizing his subjects into the belief that their country is 
an island. Old and young are rapidly becoming affected, 
and if the cautious, moneyed middle class of Germany once 
completely falls under the Kaiser's spell, we may be pre- 
pared for the most startling developments of his Armada. 

No greater example of difference in tutorial methods 
could be found than in the contrast shown by the pro- 



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134 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

duct of Professor Hmtzpeter's virile, elastic training 
of the Emperor William, and the cold narrowness of 
the teaching given to the Emperor Nicholas by Pro- 
fessor Pobiedonoetzeff. Temperament, of course, ac- 
counts for much that makes history, bat tuition accounts 
for more — tuition and good wives. What Calptunia 
was to the younger Pliny the Empress has been to her 
lord. She shares his literary tastes, gives him cheering 
admiration, and, grateful to him for his marked devotion 
to the Crown Prince, probably tries to set his poems to 
music. Moreover, he has never neglected the tonic of 
fun. The great "August" or mimic of the Imperial 
circle, the late Minister at Copenhagen, is a close friend 
of Wilhelm II., and before the Sturm and Drang of 
international politics affected the felicities of the Court, 
there were great times at Berlin. The Kaiser can still 
laugh, however, and enjoy himself. " Desipere in loco !" 
Even the most bellicose monarchs believe in this. 

If, as Dr. Reich assumes, the success of a nation is 
due to personalities, Germany is to be congratulated on 
the possession of one of the most brilliant — an idealist 
who is at the same time one of the most practical 
Emperors the world has ever seen. Sitting over a large 
fire of wood, after a hard day's military manoeuvres, 
and the plainest dinner, we find the War Lord, sur- 
rounded by his Generals, sipping German champagne 
or orangeade, and unceremoniously discussing the events 
of the last mimic battle. Later we find him among the 
bivouac fires of his soldiers, an amused spectator of 
their camp games. Another day he is receiving the 
Bavarian poet, Doctor Ludwig Ganghofer, after a gala 
performance in the Munich Court Theatre. He praises 
the Dichter for his optimism, and explains his own, 
showing also that his desire is ever to advance— Por- 
wdrts kommen — and that those who display Reichsver- 
driesslichkeit* are to be pitied. In these phases of ezist- 
* Impatienoe with the idea of Empire. 



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A STUDY OF KAISER WILHELM II. 135 

ence and in every other feature of his life he is practical, 
down to the complete confidence he has in the German- 
ophil members of the British Cabinet, notably the War 
Minister and the Lord Chancellor. 

Known as the Seise Kaiser, he journeys always 
with a purpose, but he does not attempt to hunt 
two hares at one and the same time. " All the world 
is in trouble when I travel," he has been known to say. 
He is rash, but yet cautelous. He has many visions, 
many ambitions, but only one pursuit, one obsession. 
The idea that colours his national dreams is supremacy 
on the sea. " Our future lies upon the water," he said 
many years ago, and this scarlet notion tints German 
foreign and domestic policy more deeply than Cobden's 
unreliable formulae colour our Imperial statecraft. It is 
a glorious idea, and it springs from a noble heart. All 
magnificent thoughts and dreams come from great 
souls ! 

Not only does the Emperor desire supremacy, but 
also efficiency on the sea. Witness his telegram from 
the Baltic in reference to Major Fischer, Chief of the 
Clothing Department of the German Colonial Army, 
who was accused of accepting bribes from a firm of 
contractors. 

" Visit the full penalty of the law upon the guilty, 
regardless of person or position." 

This message is pitched in the key of stern wisdom 
and strict justice. 

What would the tempersome Kaiser Wilhelm have 
done to our naval signalman who said he threw the 
signal-book of his ship overboard because he was not 
allowed to take the volume away to study it for promo- 
tion ? I rather fancy the miscreant would have got a 
punishment more severe than two months' imprison- 
ment, which was the sentence passed by the Sheerness 
court-martial. 



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136 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Some ten years ago the Emperor superseded two 
Admirals and a large number of other officers in his 
navy, because of the indifferent handling of certain 
warships during manoeuvres. Our Admiralty would 
probably have reprimanded men in a like position, and 
ultimately pensioned them off. One wonders what the 
Kaiser would have done had he lost a Montagu — if he 
had discovered, after its loss, that his navy possessed 
no effective salvage corps % He would probably have 
been tempted to commit suicide. But, fortunately for 
him, Germans who cry out for economy cease from 
troubling at a point far above the minimum mark of 
national safety. 

One wonders, too, what he would have said if an 
Imperial Commission had reported to him that the 
total preventable losses in war stores during twenty- two 
months had reached a sum of over one million sterling. 
Very drastic would have been his action, in order to 
bring home to the offenders their insult and injury to 
the Fatherland ; for he is firmness itself in dealing with 
all matters where the vital interests of his country are 
concerned. Wilhelm II. is no fool. Despite what has 
been said to the contrary, he has never allowed himself 
to be the dupe of the spiritualist camarilla. Prince 
von Biilow's loyalty has been rewarded by the Kaiser's 
own. The dramatic visit of the man in black and the 
stern dismissal of Bismarck, when that great statesman's 
once elastic political ideas ossified into inflexible 
stupidity, showed the difference between a real and a 
puppet Sovereign; and the constant pressure of his 
will upon an army and a navy which owe allegiance to 
him alone serves us as an object-lesson as to the power 
and utility of one supreme, strong man at the head of a 
nation. Those who form their ideas of the Kaiser's 
character from the study of such stupid books as " The 
Private life of William and his Consort," and the 
numerous despicable publications which disgrace the 



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A STUDY OF RAISES WILHELM II. 137 

book-shops of Switzerland and France, are indeed to be 
pitied. They are denied the excitement of a mag- 
nificent spectacle — that of a man of fine character and 
wonderful energy making the history of a fine Empire. 
Those who have the best interests of Great Britain at 
heart cannot soon forget that when the complete rout 
of the German Socialists was declared that memorable 
February midnight, the Kaiser, in his primrose motor- 
car with its purple standard, was returning from a lecture 
on turbines ! The homa&e then paid to him by his 
subjects was no more than his due. Such a man, thus 
supported, is quite capable of " riding down everything 
that stands in the way." Therefore it behoves us to 
keep on the qui vive : at any moment we may hear the 
double-toned trumpet signal that warns people of the 
approach of his petrol-driven chariot ! Perhaps, how- 
ever, a British Consular officer stationed at Emden may 
give us timely warning of the visit, so that we may 
arrange an Imperial reception. 



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XVI 

"UNSERB ZUKUNFT AUCH LIEGT AUP DEM WASSER" 

Kaiser Wilhelm is a greater friend to Germany than 
the Germans themselves imagine. Maximilian Harden 
recently attacked his policy in Die Zukunft, and the 
semi-official National Zeitung aggressively stated that 
he is out of touch with public opinion in his Empire. 
The Neueste Nachrickten tells him that discontented 
Germans will not leave the country, as he suggests, but 
that they will stay to protect their Sovereign from 
isolation at his exalted post. The Social Democratic 
press was unanimous in saying that the amnesty pro 
claimed by the Kaiser, on the occasion of the baptism 
of his grandson, resulted in the release of only sixteen 
men suffering imprisonment for Use majestS, whilst 
proceedings were instituted against seven Social Demo- 
cratic editors for alleged Majestdte-bdeidigung, committed 
in their published comment on the restricted character 
of the amnesty. 

Furthermore, the Emperor is constantly accused of 
being the sport of a camarilla. This accusation, levelled 
at a Sovereign who acts on Frederick the Great's maxim, 
" They say what they like ; I do as I like," is simply 
idle. Yet, although many of the recent failures in 
German diplomacy may be due to the Kaiser's personal 
government, backed by the advice of men with a political 
outlook too narrow for the time, one may venture to 
remind the Berlin National Liberal organ that Germany's 

13S 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 139 

present strong world position is almost entirely due to 
the semi-autocracy of her Government, to the splendid 
ideal which Kaiser Wilhelm has ever before him, and 
to a military organization which, in its effectiveness, 
transcends in value our ineffective voluntary system, 
even as the day transcends the night. 

The Kaiser happens to be the only foreign Prince who 
to-day holds supreme rank in our navy. The com- 
mission is purely honorary, but his Imperial Majesty 
is proud of it. In turn our senior service may be proud 
of him. He has actually once commanded the British 
Navy, his flag being hoisted when he boarded one of our 
ships at Malta ; and though his duties were light, they 
were not perfunctorily performed. He is a man, every 
inch of him, and our navy is honoured by the position 
he holds in it as Admiral. He has no regrets about the 
Kriiger telegram, as he then acted in accordance with 
his conception of duty to his people. 

" Quand on est sur le tr6ne on a bien d'autres soins ; 
Et lea remords sont ceux qni nous pesent le moins." 

When he boards a British warship he never thinks 
about the past, but only about the future. 

His brand-new battleship, the DetUscMand, will give 
him bed and board during the coming naval manoeuvres 
of the Fatherland, and probably also in time of war. 
This is a magnificent vessel of nearly 18,000 tons, fully 
worthy of the honour of carrying the Kaiser. When 
German patriots heard of the elaborate Imperial suite 
of rooms on board this leviathan, with the four 3£-inch 
guns in the saloon, partly hidden by folding seats, 
they must have become more fascinated by their new 
hobby of the water. The Swiss say that, ever since the 
Kaiser first ejaculated "Germany's future lies on the 
ocean," every devout patriot has felt that it is his duty 
to navigate, to cruise, to sail before the wind, and to 
sport a yachting-cap. MiUtarismus and marinismua 



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140 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

are now struggling for the first place in the affections 
of the German people. Although the latter is not the 
most expressive catchword, its victory is almost 
assured. 

Should he found the Holy Roman Empire, which is 
said to be one of the Hohenzollern dreams, the Emperor 
Wilhelm and the Catholics of South Germany will 
deserve their success ; but he cannot hope to escape the 
obloquy which attaches to the names of other candidates 
for hegemony — Charles V., Louis XIV., and Napoleon 
— who, as the Figaro reminds us, all isolated themselves 
by excess of power. 

Neither the Austrian nor the German reigning family 
can boast the traditions of the Hohenlohes ; yet the 
Hohenzollerns were once even as cup-bearers to the 
House of Hapsburg, and it will be curious if a member 
of this less exalted race should eventually assume the 
insignia of the former Emperors of Germany which are 
now at Vienna. So far back as 1780, von Biesbeck 
wrote that if Germany were but united, and had the 
Dutch and Belgian ports in her hands, she would " give 
laws to Europe." The idea of unity has waxed greatly 
since then. The ideal of a great central European State, 
stretching southward to the Mediterranean and west- 
ward along the coast of the North Sea, would seem to 
demand an entente with Roman Catholicism ; yet one 
cannot but feel that possibly the Emperor may one day 
find his friend the Jesuit General a sort of Carduus 
benedictu8 in human flesh. Religious quarrels and the 
clash of opposing factions completed the dissolution 
of Rudolph H.'s Empire in 1618, when the Thirty 
Years' War began between the Evangelic Union, under 
the Elector Palatine, and the Catholic League, under 
the Duke of Bavaria. Such dissensions might work 
equal havoc in a new hegemony. The Emperor's 
flirtation with Roman Catholicism, and especially with 
the Society of Jesus, would be amusing were it not so 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 141 

perilous. To confirm his close alliance with the Catholic 
hierarchy by conferring the highest of all the honours 
he has to bestow upon Cardinal Kopp, Prince-Bishop 
of Breslau, may strengthen German influence at the 
Vatican, but, at the same time, this act destroys the 
last vestige of French faith in the Kaiser's pacific in- 
tentions. Still, it is not unnatural that German state- 
craft should take advantage of every move in the inter- 
national game. When France is retreating farther and 
farther from Borne, the aims and desires of one who 
proposes to be the head and front of a new Holy Roman 
Empire, and to receive his Imperial crown from the 
Pope, would seem to have need to be based on the 
goodwill of the Vatican. 

It seems to me to be a pity that free access to our 
Indian Empire should stand in the way of German 
expansion in Asia Minor. We cannot look cordially 
upon Teutonic aggrandizement in the Turkish Empire 
so long as there is the slightest danger of Germany 
barring our route to India. The frenzied Deutsche 
Tageszeitung objects to the general manager of the 
Anatolian Railway because he is " a Swiss-Frenchman." 
We should probably object to him if he were an Anglo- 
phobe German. A nation that openly proposes, in the 
event of a naval war, to strew the North Sea with mines, 
regardless of neutrals, must be carefully watched in 
every region. A ruler who concludes a treaty with 
Denmark for the purpose of closing the Baltic in time of 
war is likely to prove a very dangerous and crafty 
opponent. 

It is not in the Kaiser's power to change the deep- 
seated aims of the German nation, nor does he desire 
to alter the direction of those forces which are blindly 
and selfishly moving towards the aggrandizement of 
his race. He swims with the tide. Like an old country- 
man who once wearied me with the repetition of a 
truism, the Kaiser knows that " there is nothen gotten 



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142 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

out o* nothen." Hence his anxiety to possess naval 
strength, to clinch the arguments of four million trained 
soldiers. 

If we only had such an Imperial orator as the Emperor 
William in our Navy League, or at the side of Lord 
Roberts when he makes his appeals to the country — a 
man of indisputable position and authority, basing his 
entreaties upon the "golden examples of history" — 
what might we not gain ? One would desire a Prince 
with a somewhat less exuberant style, of course, but 
with no less energy than is possessed by Germany's 
autocrat. His detractors say that his speeches are full 
of conventional phrases — " and tiresomely frequent 
references to battles wherein this or that regiment was 
honoured with the privilege of undergoing their baptism 
of fire under the eyes of his glorious grandfather 
William I."; but they make no mention of what his 
orations have done for the nation. Although he is such 
a visionary, he is ever in touch with actualities. The 
Kaiser's patriotism, his ideality, and his animal magne- 
tism are equally bracing. But we, too, have a monarch 
whose lightest word possesses more weight than the Ger- 
man Caesar's longest speech. Unhappily, however, the 
traditions of our Constitution forbid his entering the 
active field of politics. If he were able to ask his nation 
to defend itself, as the Kaiser fails not to do — in season 
and out of season — every man's heart would instantly 
respond; the cost would never be counted, and the 
desired victory for the British race would be won. Let 
us, therefore, pray for more personal power to devolve 
upon our Sovereign Lord the King. 

Meanwhile, Britons have need of just such flam- 
boyant and energetic patriotism in their ordinary 
publicists as the Kaiser manifests, in order to rivet 
national thought upon our greatest national shortcoming, 
just as we have need of a perpetual and wholesome 
leaven of cautious Radicalism in our midst. Provide 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 143 

the brakes, but do not forget the petrol in the national 
motor-car. In every State and in every epoch there 
are grievances requiring redress, anomalies demanding 
adjustment, injustices necessitating removal ; but, in 
seeking to effect these changes, Radicals should always 
remember the greatness of the past and look forward 
to the glory of the future. 

Confronted by the evident determination of the Ger- 
man people to outrival and outclass us, what can we 
make of Mr. John Burns and the influence of men of 
his stamp upon the Cabinet ? Do they think that the 
Kaiser spends his time buying gold watches to present 
to skippers of British trawlers for rescuing German 
sailors in the North Sea ? Mr. Burns would have us 
withdraw from our premier place in the world, thus 
showing that, in making things easier for our rivals, he 
finds it easier to be generous than just. Let us be both 
just and generous, even when we have to retire Mr. 
Burns from the post he now occupies. We do not 
want to fight Germany — no sane nation wishes to fight 
in these times — but we must recognize the possibility 
of conflict, and we must beware of being left behind in 
the race for naval supremacy. We do not wish to 
harass Germany, or to draw around us all her enemies 
among the Latin nations ; nor do we desire to marshal 
the Slavs against her, as the Reichsbote apprehends. 
But we have had a long taste of sea-power, and we like 
it as our tars like grog. We must and will keep th$ 
command of the ocean, whatever Mr. John Burns may 
do or say, because the nation cannot but think differently 
from him. Let us answer the Kaiser in his own words, 
and cry continually : " Unsere Zukunft auch liegt auf 
dem Wasser !"* 

jj*H Germany chooses to renounce her present policy of 

naval aggrandizement, and elects to respect the status 

quo, she can view our friendship with France without any 

* " Our future also lies on the water. 11 



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144 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

distrust. If she refuses to accept the European status 
quo, we must hold firm to Prance and keep ourselves 
constantly on guard. 

Surely the Boer War might have taught us the folly 
of postponing the duty of putting our two services in 
order, and of practising the economy of fools. To dally 
with disease is in the long-run ruinous. The inevitable 
operation is dangerous and most costly — moreover, not 
necessarily successful. Then, too, we must remember 
that there are certain maladies which no operation can 
remedy. The loss of even one of our great Colonies 
would cause a paraplegia which would end in Imperial, 
if not national, extinction. 

If ever the Germans effect a landing in Great Britain, 
and bring into use their wonderful topographical know- 
ledge, it is not impossible that they may remain. The 
Kaiser may conceivably act like Mr. Jorrocks, who 
said, " Where I dines I sleeps !" He may take it into 
his head to say to those who advise him to abandon 
England to her poverty : " «Fy suis, et j'y reste," like 
Macmahon when advised to abandon the Malakoff in 
1855 ; and, in the conflict, a triumphant Germany may 
not show the caprice of an earthquake by destroying 
one great colonial edifice and leaving another intact, but 
she may conceivably destroy all. 

Do not say that, in a war, victory for Germany is im- 
possible. Recollect there are many German soldiers 
in every British town of importance. Their whereabouts 
are known at Berlin, and their movements are always 
traced with mathematical accuracy. Against finding one 
hundred aces opposed to you in one hand at bridge the 
odds are fifty-six and a half to one, but there is always 
about half a chance, as you see. Let every true-born 
Briton help to build up the national strength to enable 
the country to withstand the shock of this encounter. 
It will have more serious effects than the San Francisco 
earthquake, and we shall be lucky if we are afterwards 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 145 

able to emulate the spirit of that Californian tradesman 
who put a poster on the front of his shattered premises, 
bearing the legend, " A little disfigured, but still in the 
ring. Men wanted !" 

The TimSraire, the keel of which was lately laid down 
at Devonport, must be followed by other ships with 
armour-plate, engines, and guns that will make the 
equipment of the Ersatz Bayem as antiquated as the 
German vessel is to render obsolete the Dreadnought. 
If this be done, we shall ensure our safety for several 
generations. Guarded by the fastest and most powerful 
vessels, we shall have no need so greatly to fear a sudden 
attack by the Kaiser. 

" Poor les vastes projets qu'il voulait entreprendre, 
L'univers est 6troit pour le jeune Alexandre, 
Mais, quand de Baby lone il va toucher le seuil, 
II se con tenters peut-etre d'un ..." 

But we had better not finish the line. This little extract 
from Henri FauvePs translation of Juvenal ("Les 
Vceux ") seems applicable to my argument. 

Even if the present fleet does become useless in four 
or five years — as Mr. William Beardmore tells us — we 
must begin again, remembering that we can never safely 
allow our rivals to get ahead of us. A thing once done 
there is no remedy. When ahead, we may be sure that 
Germany will be the most truculent and aggressive 
Power the world has ever known. Her career since 1870 
forms a good basis for this statement. The danger 
must not be allowed to outgrow our watchfulness. 
Furthermore, we must practise greater economies, and 
try and learn the invaluable secret possessed by the 
mightiest of all Protectionist countries — the way to 
build an effective 16,000-ton battleship of the Michigan 
type for £737,800, which is said to be the cost per ship 
of some of the American ironclads. Will Mr. John 
Burns tell us how this is done, and will he explain to us 
why British engineers cannot build ships as cheaply as 

10 



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146 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

their American competitors ; and, further, why the 
Germans can turn out battleships and cruisers more 
quickly and at a less cost — vessels equally efficient, if 
not more powerful, than ours ? 

This country has made colossal mistakes in the past, 
but none so great, perhaps, as the recent surrender of 
the government to men with an obviously destructive, 
instead of a constructive, policy. As a matter of fact, 
there are now but two parties in Great Britain — the 
Constructionists and the Destructionists. One aspires 
to consolidate and expand our national power, the other 
to destroy it. Humanity, however, should correct its 
errors the moment they are realized, destroying their 
structures and erecting permanent temples of victory 
from their ruins. 

The first test of a truly great man, said Mr. Buskin, 
is his humility. The Kaiser stands this test; he is 
humble because he acknowledges his naval weakness 
cheerfully before the world. Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman is not humble : he is boastful, inasmuch as 
he claims to be strong enough to begin disarmament 
before any other nation is ready. 

Humbleness, however, may be the ally of subtlety. 
We must not be misled as to the true aim of the Kaiser's 
WeUpolitik when we see him, as a perfect diplomat, 
loading our national linguist, Mr. Haldane, with almost 
Oriental courtesy. This is merely the expression of 
an admiration which one decent man feels for another. 
We believe that the consultations with Generals von 
Einem and von Moltke at the War Office in the Leip- 
zigerstrasse have impressed our War Minister with a 
proper sense of the miserable futility of our present 
army. In that famous building, where so many plans 
of campaign are now pigeon-holed — as the great Moltke's 
was — surely some of the spirit of Prussian order and 
method entered Mr. Haldane's heart. Surely, too, our 
young statesman, Mr. Churchill, possesses sufficient 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 147 

hereditary imagination to have discerned behind the 
smiles and the politeness of his noble host a set pur- 
pose, an ungovernable determination to be the head 
of the first Power in the world. Let him remember the 
article in the Deutsche Revue for September, 1906, in 
which the writer says that the accession of Germany 
to the policy of the Western Powers is not to be looked 
for, and still less the diminution of her naval programme. 
Let Mr. Churchill also bear in mind that other deter- 
mined phrase, " England must reconcile herself to the 
thought of seeing the German fleet occupy, alongside 
the British fleet, a position commanding and imposing 
respect on the sea." 

If our Ministers lack the imagination necessary to 
see that the German nation hopes for an ultimate 
quarrel between the two Anglo-Saxon Powers, which 
may bring their fleet into a position of great naval 
importance, they are to be commiserated. A war 
between Great Britain and the United States — nay, 
even one night's mad rush of a Cuxhaven mine-laying 
flotilla, at a moment of international tension — might 
bring the Kaiser's Armada into a position of invinci- 
bility, and give Germany the sovereignty of the seas. 

Meantime, the Kaiser waits patiently, dominating 
the centre of Europe, taking advantage of all Britain's 
mistakes to win favour with Russia, proposing through 
the press to make a compact with Sweden, Russia, and 
Denmark, whereby the Baltic may be closed to British 
warships, even in time of peace, and with a sharp dagger 
always in his hand ready pointed to strike swiftly at 
the very heart of Prance. With such a black menace 
standing over fair Lorraine, one cannot call the Germans 
a pacific nation. 

" The world is a peacock ; Morocco is its tail," says 
the Moorish proverb. When Prance set off the Pyramids 
against the Peacock's Tail the Kaiser took the alarm, 
and he will not soon forgive Prance. He at once stung 

10—2 



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148 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

her deeply by coming to what was evidently an un- 
written agreement with the Porte ; he wounded her by 
causing embarrassment in the heart of the Soudan, 
where his interests are nil ; he irritated, and still annoys 
her by the construction of new fortresses on his western 
frontier, and by allowing his subjects to press for and 
secure contracts at Tangiers in complete disregard of 
the provisions of the Algeciras protocol. But the 
Kaiser is ever careful, ever watchful, not to take one 
single serious step before the appointed time. Prussia 
is a hunter of big game ; she does not pursue leverets. 
Big-game hunters become more careful, more knowing, 
with each experience. 

Unless the whole course of our national tendencies 
greatly alters, the Kaiser will one day put a noose round 
the neck of Great Britain with the swiftness and ex- 
quisite nicety of a Mexican vaquero flinging a lariat 
over the head of an unwary horse. Some unlucky day, 
when we are engaged in quelling an insurrection in 
India, or in South Africa, or possibly some Pan-Islamic 
rising in Egypt, Wilhelm II. and his Ministers may try 
to put an end to all chance of our control of the Persian 
Gulf portion of the Bagdad Railway, by supporting 
the wildest acts and aims of the leading spirits of the 
German Orient Bank, and then, at last, we shall be 
face to face with the long-threatened peril. He will 
choose the most propitious time, and when he does 
make his spring he will commandeer every war vessel 
in German shipbuilding yards, whether intended for 
Russia or any other State. The AUgemeine Marine 
Korrespondenz told us a short while ago that at the 
proper moment Britain would appropriate three Dread- 
noughts now being built at Armstrong's for the Argentine 
Government, and the Brazilian battleship which is being 
constructed at Barrow, so that we may be quite sure 
that Germany will practise this trick. 

Who that knows Wilhelm II.'s paramount obsession 



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OUR FUTURE ALSO ON THE SEA 149 

— which may be crystallized into the two words " naval 
predominance " — can doubt what was in his heart when 
he spoke so eloquently that winter night to the crowd 
assembled to congratulate him on his victory over 
those who sought to deprive him of money for his ships ? 
Mark one sentence : " Our famous poet Kleist, in * Der 
Prinz von Homburg,' when Kottwitz opposes the Great 
Elector, wrote these never-to-be-forgotten words : * What 
concern of ours is the policy by which the enemy is 
guided ? If only he falls before us, with all his flags, 
the policy that beats him is the supreme policy.' " 

In^> regard to matters of domestic sentiment the 
Emperor's heart is as soft as a Swiss bed, but in Imperial 
matters it is adamant. He is aiming at one thing, and 
going for it with all his soul and strength — the over- 
throw of our naval supremacy. You^may put your 
money on the man who rides straight to hounds : he 
is sure to be able to do something. The German 
Emperor's exemplar, Napoleon, created a great Empire 
from the dust of ancient tyrannies ; Kaiser Wilhelm 
would build a greater Empire on the foundations of the 
labour of the people of Great Britain. 



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XVII 

THE PRATTLE OF HERB BEBEL AND PRINZ 
YON BULOW 

Speaking in the Reichstag on December 7, 1905, the 
Social Democratic leader, Herr Bebel, took Prince 
Billow somewhat sharply to task. The Prince had 
said that the foreign situation was not thoroughly 
satisfactory, and Herr Bebel maintained that this 
admission indicated a serious state of affairs. He 
disputed the statement that public opinion in England 
was adverse to Germany, or that animosity existed 
against Great Britain among the German people. The 
Morocco question had become suddenly changed by 
the Imperial visit to Tangiers, which could not fail to 
raise ungrounded hopes among the Moors, just as in 
1896 the Imperial telegram to President Kriiger had 
evoked deep mistrust among other Powers. It was, he 
declared, because of Germany's faulty Moroccan policy 
that France and England became thoroughly welded 
together. In Herr Bebel's opinion, Germany, through 
her intervention in 1895, shared the blame for the 
Russo-Japanese War, and her East Asiatic policy he 
considered madness. He felt that in a war with 
England the whole of Germany's colonies would be 
lost within a fortnight, and that these dependencies 
were not worth the sacrifices they demanded. 

Herr Bebel asked for a reply as to the relations between 
the Courts of Berlin and London. " Englishmen," he 
continued, " are thoughtful men. They know how to 
keep silent ; for in much speaking lies very great danger. 

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PRATTLE OF B&LOW AND BEBEL 151 

It is to the credit of the German Social Democrats that 
war in the present instance has been avoided. The 
masses are now playing a new rdle in foreign countries. 
Nations no longer allow themselves to be driven into 
war. It is only when they know the aim of the 'policy 
thai they are for warP 

"The people of Western Europe," continued Herr 
Bebel — who ranks second only to Billow as a debater — 
" can show their rulers what the Russian people have 
already shown theirs. The British working classes are 
unanimous in combating the idea of war with Germany, 
and equally unanimous against the Chamberlainite Protec- 
tion policy, which is only the natural answer to our own 
Protective system. The increase of the fleet is directed 
wholly and solely against Oreat Britain. The other 
grounds for it are all humbug." 

These rather startling phrases were fully contradicted, 
but there was a hollow ring about Prinz Biilow's answer. 
It has been said that this statesman has played the 
part of Talleyrand to the Kaiser's Napoleonic rdle, and 
certainly in this answer there is a soupqon of Talleyrand's 
duplicity. No one, however, could accuse Prinz von 
Biilow of the worst faults of the French statesman. 
He is a gentleman, and as straightforward as it is 
possible for him to be. He has been a useful brake 
on the wheels of the Imperial chariot when its career 
threatened to be too impetuous. He speaks sensibly 
and soberly enough through the mouthpiece of his 
personal organ, the Suddeuteche Beichskorrespondenz. 
Nevertheless, he is rusi et audacieux to an extraordinary 
degree, and we must be on our guard against his clever- 
ness. If he still maintains that Germany does not hate 
Great Britain, every freeborn Briton may truthfully 
say with Goethe : 

" Ich halt' es wenigstens fur reichlichen Gewinn, 
Dass ich nicht Kaiser oder Kanzler bin !"* 

* I hold it at least for a rich gain 
That I am neither Kaiser nor Chancellor. 



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152 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

The preamble of the German Navy Act of 1900, drawn 
up when he was Foreign Minister, utterly disproves the 
Prince's statement in reply to Herr Bebel. This pre- 
amble begins by recalling the fact that the Navy Act 
of 1898 " has not made provisions for the possibility of 
a naval war against a great sea Power," and continues : 
"Under existing circumstances, in order to protect 
Germany's sea trade and colonies, there is one means 
only — viz., Germany must have so strong a fleet that, 
even for the mightiest naval Power, a war with her 
would involve such risks as to jeopardize its own 
supremacy." After recalling this unequivocal utter- 
ance, we know precisely how to regard Prinz von 
Billow's reply to Herr Bebel, and all his subsequent 
offerings of dust to British eyes. Only recently he 
said : " It is sheer nonsense ... to argue that Ger- 
many thinks of competing with England for the mastery 
of the sea." But this new declaration was made subse- 
quent to the arrival in London of the German editors 
with the gifts of Greek friendship in their hands; so 
that the Prince must excuse us if we act like the editor 
of Chatterbox, who is said not to take any fairy stories 
now, despite the delightful moral of " Peter Pan." 

The avowed object of the German Navy League (with 
almost a million members) is to secure a fleet capable 
of meeting the British. " When once the German and 
British Navies are equal, Germany will pledge herself 
not to increase her fleet beyond this strength," says the 
Berlin National Zeitung, quoting Count Beventlow, the 
well-known naval critic. It is, of course, a truism that 
the masses are now playing a new rdle in foreign ques- 
tions, but, in face of this challenge from another nation, 
let us hope that our workers will revert to their old 
patriotism, and that the whole of our people's influence 
upon external politics will be directed towards the same 
end as that indicated by Count von Beventlow. 

Herr Bebel was eloquent against the cost of the 



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PRATTLE OF BtfLOW AND BEBEL 153 

German Navy, but if that navy could be had for nothing, 
and maintained at little expense, I am sure he would 
have no objection to any size to which it might attain. 
Apparently he has not yet arrived at the point of being 
convinced that " battleships are cheaper than battles," 
but his views are not immutable. Seldom indeed do 
Britons voice with their lips what is really felt in their 
souls, and I suppose Germans are more or less of the 
same flesh and blood. Even if the new German 
Socialist dream of control of the Government before 
effecting an alteration in the organization of society 
should be realized, the all-important national ideal of 
reducing Great Britain to a secondary place on the 
high seas will remain unaffected. Reicfisverdrossen- 
Jieit, or dissatisfaction with Empire, will never reach 
that point which will mark the abandonment of the 
alluring hope of the ultimate spoliation of the British 
race. German Socialism is not suicidal, like ours, 
although its eighty or ninety newspapers continue to 
startle the Fatherland with tall talk about the evils 
of autocracy. 

The fate of Herr Kressin, the " prison editor " of the 
Leipziger VdkszeUung, who was imprisoned for Majes- 
tate-bdeidigtvng against the King of Saxony in the spring 
of 1006, and the inconveniences suffered by so many 
other Socialist "prison editors," do not in the least 
affect their essential patriotism. Such men as Messrs. 
Stead, Byles and Co. are impossible in Germany. 
However discontented the Socialists may be, they 
never forget that the interests of their country and 
race come first with all true men. Though they have 
preached economy in the Reichstag in such sultry terms 
that the waxen nose has all but melted on the face of 
Herr Wilhelm von Kardorff, the Conservative leader, 
we must recall that one of the most influential of their 
organs has pronounced that " Germany must be armed 
to the teeth, and must possess a strong fleet," as her 



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164 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

only alternatives are those of pushing her way mili- 
tantly into distant countries or eventually collapsing. 
However much certain States — such as Brunswick — 
may feel the pressure of the taxation necessitated by 
Weltktst, they will bear with the evil uncomplainingly, 
in hope of a great reward. There is always some 
agitation for the substitution of majority government 
for the personal sovereignty of the Hohenzollerns, but 
the predominant national desire will ever be for an all- 
powerful fleet. The peaceful professions of Herr Bebel 
are not to be trusted. 

" Everywhere abroad," said Herr Bassermann in 
answer to the Social Democratic leader, " we meet with 
distrust in consequence of English machinations"; 
and Prinz von Billow followed by insisting upon the 
right of Germans to build a fleet for peaceful and 
" defensive purposes." He also said that if a premium 
were set upon the utterance most likely to arouse 
enmity between England and Germany, then Herr 
Bebel would have a claim to it. 

But we misunderstand neither Herr Bebel nor Prinz 
von Bulow. Despite what is said by heated politicians, 
Germany is not groaning under her military yoke, and 
the London correspondent of the Vorwarte has told us 
that even the most advanced Socialists would never 
adopt our Voluntary System. They desire an army on 
the model of the Swiss National Militia, and it is pre- 
cisely such a system that we ought to have in Great 
Britain. The German Social Democrats are as much 
alive to the main chance as their compatriots ; they 
know the value of their country, and they will run no 
unnecessary risks of losing it. Moreover, they will 
never capriciously upset the present favourable economic 
conditions of the Fatherland, and bring about a great 
industrial crisis which would undo the magnificent work 
of the last five years. Bebel and Singer are wise in their 
day and generation. 



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PRATTLE OF BtJLOW AND BBBBL 166 

We know, and have known for years, that a great envy 
of our vast Colonies is corroding the cousinly love that 
once frankly subsisted between Briton and German, and 
that the efforts of the rival nation to undermine our 
power are even as the tidal currents of the North Sea 
that attack and crumble the base of our eastern cliffs. 
The persistent and constant erosion caused by the waves 
has in the past destroyed some of our towns, and, unless 
we see to the strength of our defences, Germany will 
swallow our trade and our Colonies in much the same 
way as the sea has swallowed our lost coast-line. Whilst 
some of our obsolete warships were being broken up at 
Morecambe and elsewhere in 1006, Germany laid down 
three large armoured ships to the British three, and she 
proceeds this year with the construction of three to the 
British two. When we remember that one really modern 
battleship is equal to more than six vessels of the older 
type, we may dimly realize our danger. Self-sufficiency 
is the worst canker that can attack a nation, and it is 
this mental blindness to our own shortcomings and 
needs that has come upon us. It is an evil which is the 
outcome of a premature national maturity. The power 
that lasts is that which is built of hard, continual, and 
long-drawn effort. " Celerius occidit festinata matu- 
ritas !"* Remember how quickly the white mould 
spreads on the crushed grape, how swiftly the bruised 
pear perishes, and how deadly is gangrene in the 
shattered arm. 

Herr Bebel has no more aroused enmity between the 
two nations than the German Emperor and Prinz von 
Biilow have made themselves fit and proper persons 
to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The Baroness von 
Suttner may cry, " Lay down your arms !" but, if they 
have their way, these two men will never put aside their 
weapons until Germany has justified her existence as a 
great Empire, and Europe has onoe again run red with 
* Soon ripe, soon rotten* 



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156 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

blood. The only way in which to stay their ambitions 
— the only thing that will work simultaneously for the 
ultimate good of both nations — is for Great Britain to 
adopt a more selfish Imperial policy, on practical, 
scientific German lines — a statecraft that will hinder the 
flow of funds into the Teutonic coffers. 

We know, and have known for years, of the danger 
that is threatening us. News from Germany generally 
has all the maleficence of the east wind that brings the 
aphis to our greenhouses. Not long ago the Deutsche 
Tageszeitung — the Anglophobe Agrarian organ — after 
stating that the envy excited by German industrial 
progress is the mainspring of British policy, delivered 
itself thus : " The two aims of Britain are to form an 
anti-German concert, and to break up the Triple Alli- 
ance. The present deadlock at the Porte is the work of 
Great Britain. The United Kingdom is supporting the 
Sultan in his opposition, so that Austria-Hungary, Italy, 
and Russia may become involved in a Turkish war, 
thus leaving the field free for the fulfilment of British 
schemes for the isolation of Germany." 

This is like the cry of a man with a guilty conscience 
who suspects others of his own sins. Underlying these 
falsehoods there is a very real, a very hideous danger. 
Faced by such excusatory statements, which would 
seem to prelude an attack in the not distant future, 
we must purge our minds of all false security and national 
self-conceit, just as we fumigate our carnations after an 
east wind. I ask every man to say to his Parliamentary 
representative : " Let your boat be bow on to wave and 
wind, now that the sea is so full of white horses." 

Pay no heed to the statements made by Prince Hatz- 
feldt, President of the Committee of Reception for the 
English editors, to the representative of the Petit 
Parisien. Germany is not " essentially pacific." 

Prinz von Biilow was most certainly right in pointing 
out that President Roosevelt characterizes a fleet as the 



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PRATTLE OF BttLOW AND BEBEL 157 

most indispensable implement towards the advancement 
and prosperity of a nation and the maintenance of peace, 
and that Japan was wise when she paid no heed to the 
worthy but mistaken persons who warned her against 
naval expenditure. He was also absolutely correct 
when he averred that a man prejudices the interests of 
his country who states that peace can be maintained 
without the needful strength, and that no one could 
question the wisdom of the French Republican deputy 
who recently said that " Strong countries are those which 
are respected." 

We could not expect less from a man who asked, after 
the melancholy British reverses in December, 1809, 
whether humanity stood upon the eve of a fresh partition 
of the world, as in the last century, basing upon the 
South African position a demand for a much larger 
German fleet. It is all very well for Prinz von Biilow to 
say, as he did at Norderney, that to think of Germany 
ever competing with England for the mastery of the sea 
is tantamount to accusing her of wishing to build a rail- 
way to the moon ; but we have his published opinions in 
black and white. And what about the German naval 
superiority that is looked for in 1908 ? Secrecy is no 
longer preserved as to the rapid development of the 
German Navy, and it is exultantly declared that in 1906 
the Kaiser's armada will be stronger and more efficient 
than ours in the only type of vessel that will then be of 
any use. The semi-official Hamburger Nachrichten 
openly derides us, informing our Admiralty that the 
new German ships will greatly excel the Dreadnought. 
These are object-lessons in chameleon-like attitudes, 
and we must take them to heart, and keep our powder 
dry. 

When the Imperial Chancellor retires to the magnifi- 
cent Roman palace, which he recently purchased from 
Queen Margherita at a cost of £200,000, and finds some- 
one " worthy to take his place " in Berlin, he may, 



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158 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

perhaps, have leisure to contrast the various utterances 
on the subject of German naval policy which he has 
made during the last fifteen years. I am quite sure that 
so sensible a man as Prinz von Biilow will never prefer 
a claim to consistency of speech when once he has made 
the interesting comparisons. 



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xvm 

THE RIVALRY OP TWO GREAT NATIONS 

Commercial rivalry is legitimate and pacific, but this 
German naval rivalry is uncalled for and hostile. Naval 
expenditure at one time looked like becoming the ruin 
of Japan, but, instead of leading to bankruptcy, it 
became the salvation of the Mikado's Empire. The 
thoughtful have noted this fact in the tablets of the 
national memory, and the British working-man must see 
that this memorandum is made indelible. We may also 
hope that Great Britain, as a whole, will observe this 
little naval point in time. 

Alone among our great public men, Lord Roberts saw, 
with something like shame, that at the close of a great 
and successful war Japan had added four divisions to 
her army, because, in certain contingencies, her statesmen 
had undertaken the task of co-operating in the defence 
of the Indian frontier. Great Britain then did nothing, 
nor has she since attempted anything in view of these 
possibilities. On the other hand, a Cabinet with a 
destructive bent has fatuously embarked upon a policy 
of false naval economy, and our nation, with its enormous 
mercantile marine, may eventually have to appeal to 
Japan for protection in Eastern waters. 

The greatest Empire the world has ever known is 
content with the possession of fewer trained soldiers 
than Switzerland or Bulgaria. Its purblind, purse-proud, 
self-conceited citizens are only too willing to delegate 

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160 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

any imperative national duty to a salaried force, whilst 
they amuse themselves with cricket scores and racing 
results. On the other hand, our new allies, the 
Japanese, are this year spending some £22,000,000 on 
their already extremely effective army, increasing it by 
four new divisions. At the same time, they will spend 
£16,000,000 on their navy. "We do not want an 
isolated, self-subsisting Empire, from whose ramparts 
we are to look down on the rest of the world as from 
some Great Wall of China," says Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman ; and this utterance from his lips did not 
surprise us. In regard to all awkward facts that may 
be used for censorious purposes, the nation has a long 
memory, although the faults of statesmen are sometimes 
temporarily forgotten in the hope of amendment. But 
the little difficulty about cordite showed in the past what 
this utterance shows to-day — that the sentiment of Im- 
perial strength, order, and unity is incapable of effecting 
a lodgment in the mind of the Premier. Japan, Ger- 
many, and America wish to be self-subsisting nations. 
Indeed, they are all virtually self-subsisting, to-day. 
Then why should not we demand Imperial homogeneity ? 
Are we different from other people in our needs ? Is 
British flesh and blood of a more supernal type ? 

Englishmen, how long will you suffer this shame % 
The War Commission that held an inquest on the Trans- 
vaal muddle reported that reserves should be provided 
outside the ranks of the regular army. Which member 
of the Radical Cabinet has come forward to demand that 
these recommendations be fully carried into effect ? 
Mr. Haldane's well-meant efforts at reform are not serious 
attempts to grapple with the difficulty. Of what use 
is a Commission if its deliberations bear no fruit ? Our 
naval expenditure is infinitely greater than it would have 
been if some form of compulsory service had been 
adopted at the close of the Boer War, which, of course, 
was the psychical moment in which to bring forward 



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THE RIVALRY OF TWO GREAT NATIONS 161 

such a measure. It is our deplorable military weakness 
which incites Germany to attempt to outrival us on sea, 
as she knows that, once severely beaten on the ocean, 
Great Britain is hers. Her naval programmes would 
have retained their old-time modesty had we but deter- 
mined to buttress the Empire with a healthy military 
service in 1901. But Germany is now too deeply com- 
mitted to shipbuilding to relax her efforts to gain naval 
superiority.* 

We must therefore prepare to deal with an awkward 
situation if it arises ; we must be forearmed, for our 
naval power ought to be unquestionable. When Lord 
Northbrook was First Lord of the Admiralty, he strongly 
disapproved of naval programmes. Whenever the 
French laid down a warship he laid down two, without 
saying anything to the British public. His plan was 
simplicity itself, and if we pursued it Germany would 
soon tire of the competition, and she would much more 
quickly tire if we crippled her finance by taxing the 
goods she ships to the United Kingdom. The great 
German modernization schemes for 1907 must be ex- 
celled by British modernization schemes, for Fox's 
standard of strength — now more than a century old — is 
the only possible standard to-day. Old effete ships 
must be discarded, but, above all, our old Cobdenite 
policy should be relegated to the limbo of worn out 
things ; and when we do put it away, we shall hear 
fewer boasts of the power of the coming German Navy. 
We British have what Germany does not possess : we 
have Colonies yielding enormous quantities of gold. 
These possessions have enriched us of late years more 
than our manufactories or our merchant trading. One of 
our youngest gold-producing States — Western Australia 

* Battleships as large or larger than the Dreadnought : 
1 being built at Krupp's Germania Yard, Kiel. 
1 „ „ the Imperial Dockyard, Wilhelmshaven. 
1 „ „ the Weser Yard, Bremerhaven. 
1 „ „ the Vulkan Yard, Stettin. 

11 



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162 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

—has yielded £70,000,000 since 1886. Even Wei-hai- 
Wei and Mauritius have yielded their quota of the 
yellow plaything of Croesus. If Germany had possessed 
these many goldfields erf ours, plus our open markets, 
Great Britain would have now been merely a geogra- 
phical expression. And we need every ounce of gold 
that we wring from the unwilling earth in order to 
struggle successfully against the handicap that Cob- 
denism and the " island " fetish have inflicted upon us. 
Our voluntary naval service is tremendously dear com- 
pared with the German compulsory service. If we 
include the naval reserves of both nations in our calcu- 
lations, the cost per man in the British Fleet is £53 per 
annum, and in the German Navy the cost works out at 
about £11 per man. This is a colossal advantage to 
our rivals, which is supplemented by the cheaper ship- 
building of a protected country. So that the sooner we 
recognize the futility of our voluntary naval and military 
service, the better. To have no adequate army at a time 
like this is a stupendous crime against humanity, for 
we positively invite attack. 

Our military power has need to be strongly reinforced, 
especially now that we find the German Free-Traders 
amongst the strongest supporters of the Kaiser's naval 
policy, and even the extreme Socialists of the Fatherland 
approving it, despite the existence of bureaucratic re- 
actionaries who advocate the restriction of universal 
suffrage. The machinations of the Kaiser's naval 
enthusiasts is finely illustrated by the following extract 
from a letter written by a person moving in the best 
circles in Hanover to an English correspondent, and 
the date it bears is December 4, 1905 : 

r * ... If only this terrible war does not come and 
upset everything. The situation is regarded as most 
serious, and till the 22nd is safely past it will be a most 
awful anxiety to all here. The Colonel in command 



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THE RIVALRY OF TWO GREAT NATIONS 163 

says it is very probable that the English will attack Kiel 
on December 22, and it looks sinister that the English 
Ambassador has been suddenly summoned to England. 
If you can, write and tell me what you think of it, and 
how your papers regard the position of affairs.' 

It is obvious from this amazing epistle that the Ger- 
man Navy League had spread a rumour in Hanover of 
an impending war, in order, no doubt, to enforce the 
arguments they are continually bringing to bear upon 
the peaceable burghers of the Fatherland. A very good 
way to obtain votes for a preponderant navy is to terrify 
people with stories of bloody bombardments, and to tell 
them, now and again, that their homes and lives are in 
danger. 

It is well for us, perhaps, that we have steady pulses. 
When the Russian fleet shelled the Hull trawlers in 
October, 1904, the excuse was that they had seen a 
torpedo-boat, and the world said that the officers of the 
Czar had had an attack of nerves. Mr. Horatio 
Bottomley's paper, John Bull, under date of January 12, 
1907, naively asks : " What was the cause of the whole 
Russian fleet suddenly opening fire ? Admirals and 
men do not all agree that they saw such an unmistak- 
able thing as a torpedo-boat for no real cause. Why 
was there such alarm at Berlin all that winter, and why 
were all the German ships kept with banked fires, 
officers sleeping on board, and all leave recalled ? It 
may have been merely a coincidence, but an old torpedo- 
boat — the * S 6 ' — was shortly afterwards to be seen 
in the little fisherman's harbour at Wilhelmshaven, 
riddled with the shot of small guns." In face of this 
strange story, verily it is a blessing that we have a vast 
store of British sang froid to fall back upon. 
g£ Germany is somewhat nervous because she knows 
that she has played the exciting game of internationalism 
very unfairly, having arrogated to herself a world- 

11—2 



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164 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

position to which, at present, she has no valid title. 
From the point (Fappui of a covetous braggart she has 
tormented Europe by a series of subtle cabals. Not 
least of these dangerous intrigues is her new treatment 
of the Jesuits, a policy which is no more sincere than 
her recurrent expressions of friendship for Great Britain. 
To favour the election of Father Wernz, as General of 
the Jesuits, can only mean one thing, and that is an 
intentional insult to France. The growth of strained 
relations between the Vatican and the French people is 
not unjustly attributed to the German Cardinal Stein- 
huber's influence with the Pope, he being Protector of 
the Order, and a member of the committee of eight 
Cardinals which advises His Holiness on French affairs. 
In view of this dangerous complot, we cannot but 
distrust all German professions of love for peace. The 
famous Kriiger telegram of 1896 was despatched after 
it had been discussed at a Council of Ministers, and con- 
siderably toned down by the advice of Prince Bismarck 
and Prince Hohenlohe. Had the original draft gone 
forth, war with Britain would have been inevitable. 
But the wiser spirits in German politics desired a 
European combination against us, and they had no 
wish to fight us without good backers. The moment 
that allies show themselves ready and willing to take a 
hand in the game, German professions of peace will 
cease. In his perfervid oratory at the Lyceum Club, 
Count Wolff-Metternich attempted the impossible. He 
tried to lull Great Britain into forgetfulness of the 
significance and the intentions of the growth of the Ger- 
man fleet. The British Ambassador at Berlin may not 
make use of similar political methods, but if he did, no 
words of his would have the slightest effect upon the 
inexorable policy of Germany. Whatever the German 
Ambassador may say, whatever the Germanophils in 
our Cabinet may think, and whatever Lord Avebury 
and his friends may do, the Fatherland hates and fears 



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TEE RIVALRY OF TWO GREAT NATIONS 165 

us to a degree which has never been even faintly indi- 
cated by the most sensational journals. 

The only nation that needs a word like Schaden- 
freude (" joy at another's misfortune ") is Germany, 
and she is the unique possessor of such a word. If 
Britain went down in an insensate conflict with the 
United States — originating in the folly of some political 
bungler — Germany would be the first to rejoice in our 
overthrow and the first to snatch at the ruins of British 
dominion. She is waiting and watching for some 
decent excuse to attack a weakened nation ; she is 
preparing herself against the psychological moment in 
the career of our Empire when her vulture task will 
be easiest, remembering ever the old text from St. Mark : 
" Wenn ein Reich mit sich selbst unter einander uneins 
wird, mag es nicht bestehen."* English Blue-Books and 
French Yellow-Books will have strange tales to tell in 
a not altogether remote future. 

Now, in face of this irrepressible Anglophobia, are 
we going to organize ourselves scientifically, or not ? 
Are we to stop dealing fratricidal blows at the Imperial 
bonds ? Are we to go on destructively granting to 
Americans privileges denied to our own colonists, and 
conceding to our late enemies in South Africa rights that 
press hardly upon the British in that country ? These 
are important and urgent questions. 

If we do not so educate ourselves as to be able to 
apprehend and ward off the dangers that already 
menace us, and those perils that are sure to appear in 
the future, our race must crumple up and go down 
into the dust, as the Greeks, the Romans, and the 
Carthaginians did in the past. We must always re- 
member that Dutch sea-power, which was once a great 
force in Europe, perished because of the comparative 
military weakness of Holland. An Empire can only 

* And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom 
cannot stand (St. Mark iii. 24). 



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166 TEE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

keep its position by developing to the full every State it 
possesses, and maintaining its military and naval forces 
at the highest pitch of efficiency ; otherwise it runs the 
risk of being utterly crushed or maimed in detail. 
Chief est thing of all, however, is the intelligent direction 
and development of the central portion of an Empire— 
the heart or kernel of it — for, unless the core be sound, 
the outermost portions of the fruit are not of much 
value. In our case it is impossible to treat with con- 
tempt the institutions which gave our Empire birth 
without the gradual disintegration of our world-power. 
Our contempt should be exclusively reserved for men 
of the stamp of those probably well-meaning Cabinet 
Ministers whose attitude towards national defence will 
be more execrated by their own party in years to come 
than it is by staunch Imperialists of to-day. 

At the recent Peace Conference in London, Professor 
Erckhoff promised Mr. J. M. Boberston that he and his 
fellow-delegates would attempt to reduce naval and 
military expenditure in Germany, but their voices are 
even as the voices of sparrows in the roar of our capital. 
He was answered by the Belgian delegate, Count Goblet 
d'Alviella, who declared that the whole question de- 
pended upon Germany, and he was right. It is Germany, 
and Germany alone, who menaces the peace of the 
world — the nation which has just told us that Heligo- 
land is to be made another Kronstadt. Admirable man 
though he may be, the German Emperor is a greater 
danger to European security than all the yellow and 
black races put together. He himself is the peril — the 
real European peril—- casqued and sworded as he is, and 
gloved with the iron glove. All that he needs to do to 
set Europe on fire is to take a sheet of his costly, dull 
blue quarto paper, stamped in brilliant colours with the 
Imperial coat-of-arms and the two Field-Marshal's 
b&tons, and write upon it the fateful word that Moltke 
laconically uttered just before the war of 1870-71 — 



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THE RIVALRY OF TWO GREAT NATIONS 167 

Kriegmobil. His notepaper costs him more than three 
shillings a sheet, therefore he is not likely to be diffuse : 
one word will do. 

Remembering this, we must own that at the present 
moment British citizenship " is pregnant with mora 
imminently momentous issues than at any of the moat 
critical junctures in the history of the past." The plot 
of the world-drama is, indeed, rapidly thickening ; and if 
Britain is to play a part in it worthy of her name and 
fame, the rising generation must certainly gird up its 
loins and become soldiers and sailors, like our forefathers. 

Go to Kiel and see for yourselves a great, strong fleet 
afloat upon the broad waters — the adolescent navy 
that aspires to become the first in the world. There you 
will behold the fighting ships that have been built with 
the money largely gained by trading in our open markets. 

These vessels are commanded by men of approved 
courage, as the Kaiser has no use for invertebrates. 
Indeed, he would seem to be an admirer of brute strength 
and egoistic daring. When Count Philip von Eulen- 
burg, as a young sub-lieutenant of cavalry, cut down 
and killed a French chef of Queen Victoria's who was 
in attendance on the Duke of Edinburgh, this hasty act 
of the superman did not bar his way to the Vienna 
ambassadorship, nor to an artistic ascendancy over 
his Imperial Sovereign, which only weakened when the 
castle of Iiebenberg became the centre of a spiritual- 
istic camarilla that aspired to too great power. There 
are thousands of men in the German Army and Navy 
of equal intolerance and daring, who would strike as 
suddenly and remorselessly at us. Count Philip struck 
down Cook Ott, to the consternation of the good people 
of Bonn. One day, however, another German superman, 
who is able to put 1,000,000 more men in the field than 
any other European Field-Marshal-in-Chief, will aim an 
equally swift and sudden blow at our East Coast defences, 
and we shall be lucky if we are not caught napping. 



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XIX 

GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 

Our forefathers have bequeathed to us such great 
territories that we have no further desire for conquest. 
We are satisfied with our position as the greatest Empire 
the world has ever seen, and, to use Bismarck's phrase, 
" we are satiated, and we want a time of peace for 
digestion." 

To obtain possession of portions of this inheritance is 
the ultimate aim of the Germans; therefore they work 
hard to realize their ideal of ocean supremacy. For 
more than thirty years ambitious Prussians have 
dreamt of depriving us of our sea-power and crushing 
us as Borne crushed Carthage. " Aut vi aut fraude "* is 
a tag that may be impartially attached to every manifes- 
tation of Teutonic diplomacy, as witness the proposed 
loan to Morocco by Messrs. Mendelssohn and Co., who 
were undoubtedly backed by the German Government, 
one or two of the partners in this great banking house 
being personal friends of " His Meteoric Majesty." Then 
look at the provocative flirtation of Germany with the 
Sultan ! The outpourings of Der Deutsche, the Kaiser's 
great Imperialist paper, would seem to suggest that, in 
order to gain an alliance with Turkey, even Italy may 
be thrown over as a less valuable companion in arms. 

We have recently discovered that German agents are 
untiringly circulating evil reports in Japan. We are 
* Either by violence or by ounning. 
168 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 169 

told they are everywhere stating quite openly that we 
have tired of our alliancce, and that British sentiments 
are now very cool. It is most difficult, as every one 
knows, for the truth to overtake lying rumours when 
once they are well started. This damaging story, how- 
ever, is a misrepresentation of our feelings that is com- 
parable only to the attempts of ostensibly French 
editors in Paris, who are trying to weaken the entente 
by leaders depreciating Great Britain. 

At the time of our naval manoeuvres of 1906, the 
appearance at Dover of a suspicious number of German 
officers and a German yacht with important personages 
on board, who photographed the naval harbour works, 
did not re-establish our confidence in Prussian diplomacy. 
Nor did the Hamburg newspapers help international 
friendliness very much when they falsely accused the 
King's harbour-master of refusing to allow the German 
steamer Meteor to remain in Portsmouth Harbour. It 
is surely enough courtesy to Germany that we allow her 
officers in mufti to go over the dockyard and the round 
of our ships, without demanding the right for a Hamburg- 
American liner to pick up an Admiralty buoy. If a 
vessel chooses to leave the harbour when such a natural 
prohibition is indicated, the action of the captain can 
but point to the machinations of those who are anxious 
to make England look as aggressive as possible in order 
to hasten the supply of money for building ships of the 
Ersatz Bayern type. It must be remembered that the 
Meteor story originally appeared in certain German 
and Austrian journals which are known to be inspired 
by the German Foreign Office. Herr Ballin, the 
leading magnate of the Hamburg- American Company, 
is one of the Kaiser's closest friends. 

Eye-witnesses of the Portsmouth incident relate that 
soundings were taken by the Meteor's crew, and that 
about a dozen of the passengers on board her were 
engaged in photographing warships, jetties, and a 



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170 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

submarine in practice. ... If any tourists had done 
this at Kiel, they would now have been kicking their 
heels in a Prussian prison. 

Surely when we have allowed the Germans to man- 
oeuvre in our great strategic harbours in Ireland, and 
freely to take soundings everywhere in Scottish and in 
English waters, they might allow us to sustain a few 
naval regulations at Portsmouth ! We are scarcely 
allowed to stir a yard in their country without being 
watched, therefore we claim a little liberty in our own.* 
British blood grows hot when we read such impudent 
clamour as that printed in the Hamburg newspapers, 
for we have the best of evidence that, with true German 
topographical accuracy, the Meteor passed into the con- 
gested Portsmouth Harbour at flood-tide, contrary to 
the naval regulations ; picking up a local pilot only 
when off Victoria Pier. This was all very irregular. 
Moreover, the weather was not stormy : it was a per- 
fectly clear and calm day. 

This baseless outcry was designed to help forward 
that unscrupulous policy which is increasing the German 
Navy. It would take Mr. McKenna from now till 
Doomsday to convince the sane among my country- 
men that Germany is not seeking to give her sailors all 
possible opportunities of familiarizing themselves with 
British waters, British warships, and the methods of our 
dockyards. Germany would be a fool if she did not. The 
resilient effrontery of the Teutonic race is proof against 
ten thousand such snubs as that bestowed by the patri- 
otic Portsmouth harbour-master upon a perf ervid skipper 
whose indignation had run away with him. No doubt 
he had got into his head that Portsmouth was already 
German. Britain is very nearly Germanized, but not 

J#* Apropos of the ammunition discoveries at Sunderland, New- 
castle, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, said to he intended for Russian 
revolutionaries, one wonders what would have happened if several 
stores of Mauser cartridges had been found in Germany, and their 
ownership traced to Englishmen. 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 171 

quite. At any rate, the pilot must have thought that 
Free Trade means free entrance of everything German 
at any place and at any time. Let us hope that the 
Pilotage Board have now remodelled his ideas. 

The land-hunger of the Germans is exceedingly keen. 
Their national genius requires colonies, but the cast- 
iron methods of autocracy have not helped forward 
colonial development, and the odious cruelties of such 
men as Horn, the late Governor of Togo, West Africa 
(who suspended a native from a flagstaff and left him 
there a day and a night to die of maddening thirst), 
have unquestionably retarded it. It is astonishing how 
the arrogance of our great Continental rivals has proved 
the bane of their foreign settlements. Even in the 
Lettish country of Russia the German colonists have 
been always known as a stiff-necked, unsympathetic 
ruling caste, closely identified with the harsher aspects 
of autocratic statecraft — so much so that the Russian 
people have ever regarded a bureaucracy, modelled by 
Peter the Great on German lines, more as a German 
than a national institution. 

For over twenty years our rivals have been in posses- 
sion of a territory in South Africa nearly as large as 
their own country — Damaraland and Great Namaqua- 
land. During the first three years of the war, over 
2,000 lives were sacrificed in these colonies, and 
400,000,000 marks were squandered on military opera- 
tions. This region, which is fully one and a half times 
as large as the Kaiser's entire Empire, would easily 
hold Germany's surplus population ; but a woeful 
bureaucratic administration and an oppressive treat- 
ment of native subjects have given rise to a national 
uneasiness which deters young Germans from emigrating 
to those parts. As an instance of the mismanagement 
of the bureaucrats, I may point out that a firm of ship- 
owners was found to be receiving a freight rate from the 
Cape to Swakopmund five times greater than that quoted 



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172 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

in the ordinary market. Between these ports the Ger- 
man Government was paying 80s. a ton at a time when 
the rate from Hamburg to the Cape was only 18s. 
The stories of abominable cruelties practised by colonial 
officials not only show the inherent cruelty of unscrupu- 
lous German administrators, but provide a background 
against which the misdeeds of our own apostles of ex- 
pansion look positively angelic. To his credit be it 
said, the average German citizen is disgusted beyond 
measure at the almost incredible tales that are told of 
barbarities practised by men like Leist, Peters, Wehler, 
Horn, and Arenberg. One of the latest and most 
terrible accounts to be found in German newspapers 
describes how fifty native children were fastened in 
baskets and thrown into the rapids of the Nachtigall 
River. Bad as we are, the most virulent Continental 
Anglophobe cannot accuse us of a single barbarity at 
all approaching this. On the contrary, it is the very 
wisdom and beneficence of British rule that accentuates 
the malignancy of the utterances of those who hate our 
nation. As Prince Carl Anton of Hohenzollern recently 
observed at a public dinner in Berlin, when he held up 
the English as model colonists, " Even though the 
people be niggers, it is a mistake to treat a conquered 
race as though they were a herd of cattle." Fortunately 
for us, perhaps, but unfortunately for humanity, the 
Kaiser has never had in his colonial service such splendid 
Empire-builders as Lord Milner, Lord Curzon, Sir Percy 
Girouard, and Sir Frederick Lugard. If he possessed 
such servants they would never lack something 
to do. 

The WdUust* of the German people is essentially 
different from that of the German Government. The 
bureaucrats desire to step into the shoes of others ; 
the hard-working artisans and farmers of Germany 
merely want lands that they can work in unoppressed. 
* Lust for Empire. 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 173 

The bureaucrats would husband the national strength 
and resources against the day when our supineness and 
self-sufficiency shall have placed us at the Kaiser's 
mercy : then the men of blood and iron will endeavour 
to oust from its vulnerable Colonies an inefficient race 
which has, nevertheless, laid therein the foundations of 
new kingdoms. In that tragic time they may ask us 
to abandon our goldfields and all our successful works 
to the hands of those who have failed dismally in their 
own labour of shaping new countries from the wild 
places of the earth. 

Meanwhile, under an alien flag, the German race has 
proved itself most efficient at colonization. Matthias 
Erzberger may fulminate against the colonial policy 
of the Kaiser as much as he chooses, but here is a force 
working for the Fatherland that is utterly outside the 
jurisdiction of the Reichstag. You will find in the Times 
Atlas, on the map of South America, a* tract of country 
to the south of Brazil, known as the district of Bio 
Grande do Sul, erroneously marked " German Colonies." 
Nominally under the Brazilian Government, this fine 
upland territory is, nevertheless, entirely German. A 
population of 350,000 German-speaking people is being 
fed by a steady stream of emigration from the Father- 
land. Late in 1904 the German Colonizing Syndicate 
acquired a further grant of 2,650 square miles in this 
region ; and even in March of that year das deutsche 
Vcik held over 12,000 square miles of territory in Brazil 
— an area larger than Saxony and Alsace-Lorraine com- 
bined. Since then, enormous developments have taken 
place ; the forest lands bordering the River Taquari are 
studded with thousands of small and comfortable farms, 
and effective railroads hasten forward the schemes of 
German expansion. 

The Monroe Doctrine and several bellicose United 
States Presidents have prevented Prussian bureaucrats 
from laying their hands upon this once promised land, 



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174 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

but they have not prevented the German spirit from 
pursuing its quite laudable object. The desire to divert 
the stream of Teutonic emigration from the United 
States to Brazil is as strong now as ever, and all those 
who enter Rio Grande do Sul are to " remain German." 

When Professor Burgess, of New York, inaugurated 
the Roosevelt Chair in the Kaiser's presence at the 
University of Berlin, it was reported that he described 
the Monroe Doctrine and the McKinley Tariff as " anti- 
quated and almost senseless," and that he intimated 
that the United States welcomed German colonization 
in South America. Furthermore, it was said that he 
enjoined Germans not to be misled by what American 
diplomats say on these subjects, but to trust to the 
assurances of " ambassadors of peace, culture, and 
civilization," presumably such as himself and his suc- 
cessors. Whereupon we learned that the Prussian 
Ministry of Education circulated thousands of copies of 
the professor's address to the Teutonic academic world, 
emphasizing the official character of these utterances, 
and the august official auspices under which they were 
delivered. Then trouble came : the professorial oration 
was utterly discredited when it was found that the entire 
American element in Germany, including the members 
of the Embassy, were scandalized and angered by what 
one of their number called " Burgess's blarney," and 
the University dream of overt expansion in South 
America was rudely dispelled. 

Up to the day of Professor Burgess's address, there 
had been always a distinct sentiment of " hands off " 
in the speeches of Americans dealing with questions 
relating to the southern half of the Western Hemisphere, 
and it has been left to that militant pan-German, Pro- 
fessor Gustav Schmoller, of the University of Berlin, to 
voice the resentment of the Kaiser's people at the 
luminous transatlantic expositions of the Monroe^ Doc- 
trine. Herr Schmoller declares that the Fatherland 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 175 

" must at all costs establish a nation of twenty or thirty 
million Germans in Brazil," and he advocates the speedy 
completion of a powerful fleet in order to help forward 
the accomplishment of this ideal. Meanwhile, one 
result of the warning screams of the American eagle 
has been a condition of absolute prosperity and rapid 
development in the district of Bio Grande do Sul, and I 
state, on the authority of Major-General Sir Alexander B. 
Tulloch, K.C.B., C.M.G., that, not content with getting 
hold of the rice trade, the Germans have brought the 
whole Republic of Brazil practically under their influ- 
ence. It appears, too, that the foreign population of 
Paraguay is chiefly German, and Uruguay is becoming 
more and more Teutonic every year. Sir Alexander 
thinks that Uruguay will be eventually absorbed in Bio 
Grande do Sul, its neighbour. Germany is slowly and 
surely getting the control of the trade and commerce 
of the northern republics below the Caribbean, as in 
almost every fairly large and prosperous South American 
town, north of Montevideo, German houses outnumber 
those of all other nationalities combined. Then, again, 
south of Valdivia, in Chili, we find German influence also 
preponderant, and last year the great and important 
island of Chiloe was acquired by a syndicate of Hamburg 
capitalists. So we see what the Teutonic race can do 
when exercising the fullest colonial liberty, and one may 
postulate, with considerable assurance, that German 
emigrants have worked better under foreign flags than 
they could have laboured under their own. 

Nevertheless, one confesses to a feeling of sympathy 
with that good and whole-hearted patriot the Kaiser in 
the disappearance of his vision of a South American 
Empire. We should have rejoiced had he secured 
Venezuela, and swept it clean of the infamous dictator- 
ship which now retards the progress of that country. 
We should not have said very much if he had added 
Colombia to its sister State, and grabbed Bolivia as 



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176 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

well. But these things are not to be — as yet. Of 
course, his flag may one day wave over these terri- 
tories, and he may dominate Brazil, Paraguay, and 
Uruguay ; still, in these events, his position will be merely 
that of our own King-Emperor in regard to Canada. 
Bureaucracy will never rule a Colony that has once 
tasted the sweets of freedom. 

The war enthusiasts of Germany now think of expan- 
sion in other directions, however, and they carry with 
them national sentiment. The feelings of the people are 
with the war party because its head, the Kaiser, has 
given them prosperity. It cannot be doubted that an 
able and well-informed bureaucracy — however it may 
have failed colonially — has been of the greatest possible 
service to German development. With all their faults, 
these cast-iron statesmen have always had clear horizons 
before them, lit by the auroral lights of undoubted pro- 
gress ; and in politicians the constant illumination of 
the ideal counts for much. 

Not content with a South American and a South 
African trade that have doubled in the last ten years ; not 
content with having secured the life of the German 
folk-speech in at least one part of the American conti- 
nent ; dissatisfied with business that is advancing every- 
where at an enormous rate, and with a commercial 
marine that is rapidly gaining on ours, the ambitious 
Prussians seek to create a navy that will enable them to 
fight and overpower us, so that they may cause dissolu- 
tion to come upon our Empire, and thus destroy the 
great historical structure of our race. 

Since Germany elected to become a Colonial Power 
in the early eighties, she has found that her combined 
expenditure on the army and navy has risen from 
463,000,000 marks to over 1,000,000,000 marka— say, 
over £50,000,000. Colonial votes and subsidies are 
only a fraction of the cost of the Colonies. A costly 
fleet is likewise necessary for their well-being, and the 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 177 

Kaiser recently demanded money for a new Colonial 
Office. This the Reichstag refused, and the Emperor 
immediately proceeded to remodel the Colonial Depart- 
ment. The Hereditary Prince Hohenlohe Langenburg 
was retired, and the popular Herr Bernhard Dernburg, 
a man of the people, took his place. A radical reform 
in the Central Colonial Department has now begun, and 
the forces of the Press, led probably by the Berliner 
TageblaM, will always support the son of a once-powerful 
editor. Millions of German money will be sunk in 
colonial enterprises, now that the bureaucratic influences 
have disappeared from the management of colonial 
affairs. Captains of finance and industry, such as 
Herren Ballin, Bathenau, Loewe, Wiegand, Fried- 
lander, Thyssen, and Simon, will set the seal of their 
approval upon colonial enterprises. 

A Prince of the Blood Royal has given place to a keen 
Jewish financier, trained in the hard school of com- 
merce. Energy, force, and daring are needed for the 
sensational work demanded of this Minister, so that the 
formation of a separate Colonial Office may be eventually 
achieved, and the navy correspondingly increased to 
protect the vast interests managed by the colonial 
officials. This being so, should we not righteously 
resist the openly expressed Teutonic desire to outrival 
us and eventually deprive us of some of our possessions ? 
This resistance should consist of fostering the growth of 
a supreme navy, and by the imposition of special import 
duties on all German wares entering Great Britain and 
her Colonies. 

Noble soul that he is, and indisputable ornament of 
the age, the sympathetic Sovereign who sent the famous 
telegram to Kriiger — the man who is said to oppress 
the Poles in Posen and Prussian Silesia more than we 
oppressed the Boers — is no friend to this country, nor 
to any other land but his own. We must beware of him. 
He is of that species of monarchs who write to one 

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178 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

another privately, in order to place Foreign Ministers 
at a disadvantage. His aims, and hopes are clear to the 
whole world save and except to our Radical Ministers. I 
would rather pin my faith to the United Service Gazette 
than to Mr. McKenna in a matter of such moment. This 
gentleman may pursue the ostrich-like policy of hiding 
from himself and his constituents the remarkable naval 
programme of Germany, but all sensible Britons should 
ignore his stupidities and accept the opinion of the 
senior service. The instinct of Great Britain bids her 
beware of the German Emperor. 

Unless the psychological moment soon comes for him 
to let off the national steam on his southern frontier, the 
Kaiser will certainly turn it in our direction or towards 
France, and when we and the French are unprepared. 
He has been rightly described as " le plus va-t-en guerre 
des empereurs de ce monde."* The descent of his 
strength upon our weakness will be as sudden as the 
coming oi a typhoon. Only cowards give long warn- 
ings of attack, by blustering and threats meant to 
bolster up their own courage. The strong man 
strikes swiftly and suddenly when there is nothing 
but a low international barometer to give his foes 
warning. 

If poor Queen Wilhelmina should die, and the Grown 
of Holland should pass to her German relatives, possibly 
the eventual absorption of the Netherlands might be 
preceded by some sudden and unbearable diplomatic 
blow at one or another nation, delivered with Machia- 
vellian subtlety, that, setting all Europe on fire, would 
give the Kaiser a pretext for seizing the seaboard that 
fronts our own. That once done, the rest of his work 
would be easy, as more than one Herr Hauptmann has 
mapped out our coastal weaknesses on Teutonic Ord- 
nance maps. These, duly scored with red ink, to indi- 
cate entrenchments, are safely pigeon-holed in Germany, 
* The greatest go-to-war Emperor of this generation. 



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GERMANY AS A COLONIZING POWER 179 

awaiting the propitious hour. Our obligations to 
Belgium will not taste well on Radical palates when 
Antwerp and Amsterdam fall into the Kaiser's hands ; 
but the days of mealy-mouthed talk will then have 
ended and the days of strenuous work will have 
begun. 



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XX 

THE IMPERIAL COUNCIL AND GERMAN THREATS 

Mr. Ltttelton suggested that the Conference of 
Colonial Premiers, which was automatically due in 
1906, should be postponed until 1907. Why did he do 
this ? The decision accepted at the previous conference 
was to hold these meetings of the direct representatives 
of the Mother Country and of the self-governing Colonies 
regularly at intervals of not more than four years. Was 
the time less likely to be propitious in 1906 than in 
1907 ? Gatherings such as these quickly become wel- 
come necessities to those overseas. Regularity and 
permanence come to all national assemblies when they 
have once been proved to be of supreme racial import- 
ance. The value of Imperial discussions is unquestion- 
able, and a Colonial Conference should be held at least 
once a year in London, the very heart of the King- 
Emperor's dominions. 

If such a conference be not regularly held in London, 
it will soon be necessary to hold it in Canada or Aus- 
tralia, for we know that our great Colony in the West is 
already entering into preferential relationships with 
India, South Africa, and most of our smaller depen- 
dencies ; and we also find Australia and New Zealand 
pursuing a similar policy. These arrangements must 
so act and react upon the Empire that a yearly confer- 
ence now becomes a pressing necessity. Nothing but 
good can arise from such meetings, and if " the incor- 

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GERMAN THREATS 181 

porate life of the Empire is ever to become a reality to 
the British taxpayer," we must see that opportunities 
are given to our statesmen to acquire their knowledge 
of colonial affairs at first hand. Party considerations 
ought never to interfere with these assemblies, and every 
wisely selected spokesman ought to be listened to with 
deference. Moreover, British electors should see that 
the proposals, aims, and desires of our Colonial Premiers 
are given the fullest publicity, especially in regard to 
the matter of Imperial Preference. To ignore the 
definitely stated wishes of the Imperial representatives 
and to exclude the Press from these conferences — as was 
unwisely and unfairly done in 1907 — is tantamount to 
putting a bandage over the eyes of the nation. Australia 
has already urged the claims of such an open, yearly 
discussion, and Canada is now ripe to second her. Both 
these great countries are possessed of a considerable 
fund of imaginative insight. Remember their offer of 
mounted infantry for employment in a country needing 
just such troops, and do not forget our begging them to 
substitute unmounted men, with historical results. 

Look at the magnificent development of Canada, and 
try to realize that her statesmen do not lack wisdom. 
All wisdom is not centred in the United Kingdom of 
Great Britain and Ireland, though we usually think so, 
because we have a Free Trade policy. But the other 
people of the world are not fools, and the Colonies will 
not allow us to remain in ignorance of this fact for ever. 
They will not always tamely submit to be lectured in 
private by self-satisfied British Ministers. Nor will 
they permit us much longer to deal clumsy blows at 
their systems of autonomy. Our Colonies will eventually 
combine to repair Imperial neglect, to convince destruc- 
tive Radicals of their fatuity, and to resist Imperial 
aggression. Natal will stretch out her hand to New- 
foundland, and Newfoundland will call to Natal. 
Canada will rightfully demand a voice in the direction 



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182 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of British policy, if she is to remain the nearest helpful 
blood relation of the United Kingdom. Even the black 
ingratitude of so-called Egyptian patriots interests her 
as much as Great Britain. It will not be for long that 
we shall make the affairs of a self-governing Colony the 
subject of correspondence between the Imperial Govern- 
ment and a foreign State without the concurrence of the 
Colony interested. 

Remember the fate of British self-sufficiency in the 
football-field. With obsolete methods we strove to 
withstand the splendid dash of the New Zealanders, 
who simply swept us from their path. The victorious 
career of the African Springbokken is another little 
matter that is hard to reconcile with our vaunted all- 
round British superiority. Pray let us take these lessons 
to heart ; let us own that, even as British blood and 
sinew have been found wanting in quality, British 
brains likewise have been proved untrustworthy. 

When, in face of the up-to-date tactics, the great 
judgment and assured ability of their Australasian 
opponents, one of the beaten Rugby players wrote : 
" Our methods require reformation. It is no use de- 
pending solely upon one part of the team for success. 
It has been proved that every man of the fifteen must 
be utilized, especially in the matter of attack," he 
merely anticipated a far greater admission, a far bitterer 
cry, that will go up from our commercial men before 
another ten years have passed. 

In the settlement of such important questions as the 
Newfoundland Fisheries Dispute all our Colonies should 
have a voice, if they are to remain parts of the same 
Empire, and are expected to take part in its defence 
whenever the decisions of the Imperial Government 
result in war. At any rate, the home Government 
would do well more frequently to call together a great 
Imperial Council, especially at critical times. When 
Americans ask for the extraordinary privilege of fishing 



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GERMAN THREATS 183 

with seine nets, contrary to the existing laws of New- 
foundland, the whole Empire ought to discuss the ques- 
tion, if Newfoundland be not allowed to settle it herself. 

Acknowledgment of errors is part of the true spirit 
of humanity — the spirit in which the units of the Im- 
perial racial team must combine to resist aggression, 
and to secure peace and prosperity in all the lands of 
the British Empire. Radicals had far better own their 
mistakes now than wait for a time when their tardy ac- 
knowledgments will mean historical humiliation. There 
must be no more of this stupid and unnecessary truckling 
to the United States. If Newfoundland objects to her 
mackerel being caught in American purse-seine nets, 
we must respect her objections. If she demands com- 
pensation for the rights she is asked to give up, we must 
respect her demand. If she asks that her fishermen 
should have recognized rights in American ports, we 
must support her claims. 

Let us unify and agree. Above all things we must 
enter into the closest relations with what one day will 
be the richest country in the world — Canada. As Sir 
Wilfrid Laurier has wisely said, " The twentieth century 
belongs to Canada "; therefore, if we are to be of any 
account in the twentieth century we must belong to 
Canada and Canada to us. Now is the time for unifica- 
tion ! Our rivals are bracing up their loins ; then, let 
us do likewise. That popular financier Herr Dernburg 
is showing the German people how the development of 
Colonies protects and strengthens a country's trade 
balance, inasmuch as it is not necessary to send gold 
abroad for the purchase of raw material. Colonies are 
most powerful strategic weapons in the hands of a strong 
country, even as they are sources of danger in the hands 
of a weak one ; therefore, let us close the Imperial grip 
over the magnificent Colonies that own allegiance to 
our flag. That splendid product of the intelligent and 
patriotic exploitation of our markets, the German 



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184 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Navy, is being gradually strengthened in order to bid 
for absolute lordship over some of our great colonies. 
Taxes have built this navy, and we have found our rivals 
the money wherewith to pay these imposts — which 
have been readily forthcoming, because the German 
citizen is not crushed beneath an appalling weight of 
municipal taxation. Although he aspires to the Greek 
ideal of simplicity in the home and splendour in the city, 
his municipal affairs are managed by cultured and 
brainy men to whom mere showy extravagance is 
abhorrent. Moreover, his is a real, not a music-hall, 
patriotism. These contributions to the fleet, therefore, 
have not hurt Germany ; on the contrary, they have 
strengthened her immeasurably. Give each individual 
a personal interest in national affairs — make him help 
to pay for efficiency in the army, the navy, and every 
branch of the public service ; make him feel the reality 
of his individual influence and contribution — and the 
supply of moral force behind any military autocracy 
becomes unlimited. 

From their racial point of view, the Germans are 
acting sensibly in building this great navy and striving 
for a hegemonic position ; but, for us, danger lies in 
their common-sense and in their patriotism. Those 
who do not realize this peril are beyond reason, and all 
arguments would be impotent before their prejudice, 
ignorance, and imbecility. The rapidly increasing sea 
traffic of Germany requires a strong navy, it is true, 
but the dreams of the Prussian autocracy require a 
more formidable Armada. These men see Great Britain 
hugging a sleek prosperity which is almost greater than 
she can bear. They hear a small minority of her sons, 
of clear vision and dauntless courage, urging her to 
make certain vital reforms in the army and in her fiscal 
policy, and, remembering how they themselves were 
taken by surprise by the Latin Caesar, they demand a 
great navy in order to imitate Napoleon's eagle descent 



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GERMAN THREATS 185 

on an impotent and self-satisfied people, heedless of all 
the warnings of history. 

Hear the AUgemeine Zeitung of Munich : " We in 
Germany must not forget that there is the danger of 
being crushed for every nation not considered com- 
petent to back up the justice of its interests by a corre- 
sponding amount of force." 

This is very sound advice, and we must profit by the 
editor's wisdom. When we read such clear expressions 
of feeling, we ought to increase our stock of ammunition 
and look to our ships. If we do not give heed to these 
utterances of a people who are for ever presenting the 
point of a " sharpened sword " in the face of civilization, 
we may scon have to become their hewers of wood and 
drawers of water. The Kaiser may plant his heel upon 
our country, as Napoleon planted his foot upon Prussia. 
A host of brilliant thinkers gazed upon the ruin wrought 
by Bonaparte in Berlin, Weimar, and Jena. Poetry and 
philosophy rose in robes of gold and purple from the 
smoking wreckage left by the victor. Incompetent 
politicians and soldiers with shattered reputations slunk 
away before the light of some of the greatest intellects 
which have graced the world. These thinkers preached 
patriotism with hearts afire. They showed how the 
greatness of the State comes only by the thought, care, 
and self-sacrifice of the individual. A sound beating 
bestowed these blessings, in its evolutionary, round- 
about way. The Germans now propose to give us a 
lesson, possibly for our permanent good. If the struggle 
should come, and a renascence of our patriotism should 
result from it, even defeat would not always taste as 
bitter as death to a nation with clearer eyes. 

There is no mistaking the intentions of our friends, 
as the following story testifies : 

After some recent military manoeuvres, three genial 
German officers were cordially taking leave of their 
Green-jacket hosts. 



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186 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

" Well, we shall meet again, but not so pleasantly," 
said one. 

" When 1" inquired the British Colonel smilingly. 

" Oh, when we come to fight you," said one of the 
other Germans. " We shall do so, you know, as soon 
as our fleet is ready." 

The calm impudence of these men is founded on a 
consciousness of physical and moral strength and moral 
and material power which is unknown to us. Our chil- 
dren's children will feel glad, however, should these 
German intentions be carried into effect, if, after her 
defeat, Great Britain shows the same sort of recuperative 
quality as did Prussia after Jena. 

What with the ambitious and energetic Japanese in 
the East and these well-trained and diligent Teutons 
in the West, the prospects of continued prosperity in 
our foreign trade look less roseate every day. The time 
may soon come when some trumpery dispute with Turkey 
may cause a war whose probable consequences are in- 
calculable—a war which may exhaust us and leave us 
open to the attacks of those who have been steadily 
preparing for such high eventualities. 

As Herr Bassermann, the German National Liberal 
leader, has told us : " Germany does not require foreign 
advice in regard to the increase in her fleet." With her 
4,242 miles of coast-line, as against the British seaboard 
of 42,989 miles ; with her 3,267,000 gross tons of steam- 
shipping, as against our 15,410,000 gross tons, Germany 
nevertheless demands a fleet equal to the British Navy. 
The purpose to which these ships are to be applied is 
already clearly outlined before us. Something more 
seems to be wanted by the militant party than a fleet 
great in proportion to German commercial interests on 
the high seas, if Prince Biilow will allow me to say so. 

A short time ago the editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung 
gave it as his opinion that the Boer War and the Russo- 
Japanese War had preached peace and arbitration more 



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GERMAN THREATS 187 

effectively than the most beautiful speeches or the 
strongest resolutions. He seemed desirous of painting 
Germany as a country without ambitions : 

" Reichthum und Ehre 
Nimmer ich 'gehre, 
Herrschaft und Wiirde 
War mir nur Biirde !"* 

This was the refrain of the Fatherland in the ears of our 
friend of Frankfort. But we may make bold to disagree. 
The Kaiser's Empire sings a different song to Scheffel's. 
There is a nice little chanson called " Ein Volk in 
Waff en " :f this is the song of Qermania. 

The present naval and military activity of the Japa- 
nese would appear to forebode another and a not distant 
conflict ; they see danger, and, being forewarned, they 
are forearming. The intolerance of the Germans and 
their aggressive shipbuilding became not less marked 
after the fateful Battle of Mukden, and their com- 
mercial strength in China is greater now than ever. 
The futility of the ruck of British Radical politicians 
is still a perilous feature in the eyes of our allies, whose 
faith in us has not been buttressed by the ugly rumours 
which German agents have set on foot concerning our 
feelings towards Japan. A slander is far too fleet- 
footed for any contradiction to overtake it before it has 
wrought irreparable mischief. 

Let us remember the story of the ogre in " Puss in 
Boots." In the display of national vanity and the 
blatant parade of our immense wealth and power, for 
many years we have been like that ogre. Our super- 
cilious self-sufficiency, which has set the teeth of all 
Europeans on edge, is the conceit of the ogre over again. 
Take care that Germany does not play the part of Sly 
Puss. Her own old historical experiences, and the new, 

* Riches and honour I never desire ; power and importance 
would be only a burden to me. 
f A nation under arms. 



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188 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

sharp lessons that Napoleon taught her at Jena, have 
impressed upon the national brain the importance of 
striking a nation before it has adopted a proper system 
of national defence. As has been splendidly and appo- 
sitely said : " Most ruined nations have been caught mid- 
way in schemes of reform." Even in our weakness we 
can still be leonine ; but a rampant carnivore, with a 
broken backbone, is not to be feared. Germany has 
already seen Britain change into an angry lion, and 
when that terrible animal roared, Germany got up 
among the rafters, out of the way, whence she spat at 
the ferocious creature. But the clever diplomacy of 
the Teutonic Puss bids fair one day to make Britain 
change into a mouse, and what then ? Having slain 
the Socialist Goliath, the modern Imperial David found 
it necessary immediately to announce that " Germany 
will shortly have in readiness five dockyards capable of 
building battleships of more than 18,000 tons." 



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THE EMPIRE'S JAPANESE BUTTRESS AND OTHER 
MATTERS 

Germany's " Aut vi aut fraude " statecraft is so intense 
and striking that, however the centre of her ambitions and 
her vanities may shift, her main desire is always clear : 
it is to keep Great Britain quiet whilst she gathers for the 
spring; to weaken and neutralize our friendship with 
Prance, whilst, through the pardonably revengeful 
Jesuits, lessening France's influence with other Latin 
countries. Germany's aim has always been to drive 
wedges into any friendship that Great Britain may form 
with sister nations. Wilhelm II.'s policy, moreover, has 
the greatest conceivable interest in the continuance and 
the extension of the points of friction between England 
and Russia ; and I make this statement on the authority 
of the Hamburg Nachrichten. 

When the Kaiser's fleet is large enough to hold the 
balance of naval power, he will then proceed to deal with 
international questions, without the formality of an 
Algeciras Conference. Once the leader on sea, Germany 
will not give a second's thought to such sentimental facts 
as that of Tangier having once been Catherine of Bra- 
ganza's dowry and gift to England. Men of German 
blood and sympathies — her spies in our army and navy — 
will serve her well at that propitious hour when the 
heart of our Imperial organism is at its weakest ; and 
when the psychical moment comes, she will strike ruth- 

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190 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

lessly and with the swiftness of a Paris " Apache." If 
successful, she will bring off almost the biggest coup in 
history. 

The German Arbeitelevte* have discovered that a 
policy of expansion does not mean anything but an in- 
crease of wealth and general wellbeing ; therefore they 
dealt the Marxian Socialist theories a fatal blow at the 
last election, and the Kaiser now has carte blanche to 
build his big navy. Either Great Britain or the United 
States must be the object against which the force of his 
colossal ships is to be directed. We shall not be safe, 
however, in assuming that it is to America that the new 
Armada will sail, for all the signs of the times point to 
great danger in our own direction. So sure of eventual 
victory is the German nation that day by day it warns 
us to prepare for our fate. 

In the Holy Land there is a dirty hamlet called 
Banias, whose one notable building is the whitewashed 
shrine of Sheikh Khudr, or St. George. This mean 
village is built upon the ruins of the once proud and 
splendid city of Caesarea Philippi. Think of this place 
renowned in history, and bear in mind that sloth and 
egregious vanity are powerless to withstand patriotic 
energy and daring. A fierce and irresistible tide of 
Moslems found itself opposed to the enervated Greek 
inhabitants of Jordan's deep trough, and the waves of 
energy and enthusiasm swept the weaklings off the face 
of the earth. The Greeks of the Eastern Empire fought 
among themselves, even whilst Islam and other foes 
battered the gates of Byzantium. No thought of unity 
entered their heads. Their self-sufficiency perished, 
however, before the red blades of the victors' swords. 
It was right that these indolent, pleasure-loving 
Greeks — whose too easily acquired wealth had brought 
into being a standard of comfort and luxury too 
high for safety — should disappear before the strenuous 

* Working people. 



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THE EMPIRES JAPANESE BUTTRESS 191 
followers of the Prophet. They were effete, outworn, 



An Empire cannot last unless it be built upon an im- 
movable, rock-like patriotism, and supported by con- 
tinual self-sacrifice on the part of its sons. Therefore, 
let us mark the lessons of history ; let us teach patriotism 
in our schools, and show boys the honour that lies in 
the sacrifice of time requisite to learn the use of the rifle. 
Let it be considered a disgrace not to know what every 
Swiss and Boer boy learns and diligently practises — 
what 16,000 cadets of Australia become proficient in 
every year. Knowledge of arms is most honourable — 
it is a noble duty, and if this knowledge should bring a 
boy to a glorious death, remember those immortal words 
of Burke carved on Lord Falkland's monument on the 
field of Newbury : " The blood of man is well shed for 
our family, for our friends, for our God, for our country, 
for our kind ; the rest is vanity, the rest is crime." 

"You boast 

That you can buy the necessary slaves — 
Tommies that undertake to man the coast, 
And tars to walk the waves. 

" Besides, the leisure hours in which you lack 
Are owed to sport — the Briton's primal law ; 
You have to watch a game of ball, or back 
A horse you never saw." 

Very soon, however, you will evince a greater interest 
in ships and in rifles than you now do in cricket and 
racing. Try and recollect the details of the Battle of 
Tshushima, and how an inefficient Russian Navy was 
sent to certain destruction. Many of you do not even 
know of the existence of the journal of our Navy League, 
but I predict that in ten years' time you will be taking 
an immense interest in it, a far deeper and more absorb- 
ing interest than you now find in your sporting journals ; 
whilst your wives and daughters will be busy with naval 
and military bazaars. You will soon want every ship 



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192 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

you can master and every rifle you eon make, so do not 
grumble about their cost : the sooner you are fully 
equipped for war, the better it will be for you. 

Let it be thought degrading to protest against further 
necessary increases in our armaments, and let it be 
deemed more honourable and more gentlemanly to be a 
good shot at the butts than a smart fellow among 
African game, or a first-class gun among the tame fowl 
of an English spinney. 

Our Radical statesmen are too fearful of losing their 
comfortable appointments to risk telling an indolent 
public what they know to be vitally necessary to the 
national welfare, but the nation must tell itself what is 
vital and necessary. Prom that welter of inefficiency 
known as the Liberal party some new, strong man may 
yet arise who will show his colleagues, to their shame 
and confusion, that the 100 per cent, annual wastage 
of modern war demands that we should be prepared 
with an expeditionary force sufficiently large to have a 
fair chance of winning our battles overseas. The 
nation ought to make up its mind to support such sen- 
sible and patriotic Liberals as Mr. Carlyon Bellairs when 
they oppose themselves to those of their party who are 
obviously hostile to the Empire. If we cannot yet see 
our way to institute a much-needed system of com- 
pulsory service, we can at least take a step in that 
direction. We can pass a law ordaining that no man 
may become a Government employe^ or, in the case of 
boys, continue in the service of the Government, unless 
he has undergone a special training in some home de- 
fence corps. The highest honours in all public positions 
ought to be open only to those who have served a term 
with the rifle. We should also decree that, after a 
certain period, no public relief shall be given to any 
adult males but those who have in some way served 
their country or those whom sickness has incapacitated 
from service. 



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THE EMPIRE'S JAPANESE BUTTRESS 193 

What is more laudable and pleasant than to take good 
physical exercise oneself ? Vicarious athletics dug the 
grave of ancient Borne, and the passion for our own dis- 
plays of professional cricket and football seems to be grow- 
ing greater, to the great detriment of our urban population. 
Such compulsory service as I have indicated is only what 
the State has a right to expect of those who desire to 
become her immediate servants. It is what Mr. Haldane 
— the apt pupil of Sir John Fisher in naval matters, and 
of the German War Office in military affairs — would 
probably advocate if he were not hampered by many 
colleagues who are no more like him than poodles are 
like mastiffs. 

When trained soldiers of the stamp of Lord Roberts, 
Lord Wolseley, and Lord Kitchener deem an invasion 
of Great Britain far from unlikely, surely we ought to 
give credence to their opinions, and make preparations 
for what may be, perhaps, only a very remote contin- 
gency. We must not forget that Admiral Sir W. May 
demonstrated in 1906 how it is possible for a small 
hostile fleet to evade two great defending squadrons, and 
to capture unprotected British towns. 

France and Japan have their eyes upon us : do not let 
us fall behind their armies for protection. In the words 
of one of our most vigorous patriots, " The true and brave 
man is he who does not shirk any duty, however painful, 
or delegate to others, while he looks on and cheers, the 
task of defending his country's vital interests." 

Oh, that some new and clear-minded Liberal states- 
man, with a magnetic personality, could arise to speak 
the truth boldly, and thus bring the blush of shame to 
the face of every able-bodied fellow who takes no pleasure 
in the thought of his country's defence ! If he comes to ' 
us soon, his first text should be this : that nothing but 
the success of Japanese national service in the Man- 
churian War has made it possible to maintain our old 
and effete methods in this country. Our forefathers 

13 



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194 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

would have considered it a disgrace that our voluntary 
system should be buttressed by the splendid system of 
Japanese conscription : they would have considered it 
an intolerable shame that such an organ as the Speaker 
should mention our treaty with Japan as a main factor 
affecting our naval supremacy : 

* The Japanese alliance and the French understand- 
ing, with full retention of the Italian relations and a con- 
tinuous improvement in the American attitude, which, 
if anything, is anti-German.' * 

This is to be the excuse for all the wanton destruction 
and false economy of the present Cabinet ! 

The able Mr. Haldane entered upon his duties with all 
the insouciance of the Lancashire mill-organizer who, 
upon arriving at a strange town, bade the cabman drive 
him "to that sanguinary factory that never paid a 
dividend !" But what is the net result of the policy 
pursued by our Secretary for War ? Simply an attempt 
to foster an impossible friendship with Germany. 

The British Empire was not built by relying on the 
friendship and power of rival nations, but by the char- 
acter, the valour, and the patriotism of its sons. This 
truckling to Germany is the very top note of inefficiency, 
the highest symptom of political demoralization. We 
must really make away with the inefficient in all depart- 
ments of the public service, or they will make away with 
us. The Phoenicians and Carthaginians crucified their 
bunglers ; we, however, have got into the vicious habit of 
giving our sinful public servants comfortable pensions. 

The greatest statesmen who have made history, and 
the greatest soldiers who have unmade it, were not blind 
to the lessons of the past. The teaching of history is 
now more than ever necessary to the national well- 
being, and, unless we do profit from the examples of 
other ages, the fate of Caesarea Philippi will be the fate 
of London : the race that was strong enough to beat back 
the hosts of Islam that devastated the Holy Land — 



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THE EMPIRES JAPANESE BUTTRESS 195 

when they threatened to overrun Europe — will overrun 
and overwhelm us. The destroyers of the Decapolis 
had a great motive, and a deep religious fervour forced 
them onwards. They had an ideal to spur their 
patriotism. The German nation has a magnificent 
purpose to urge it forward, but we appear to have lost 
all our racial ideals. 

We saw in the friendly overtures of the Cologne and 
Hamburg Chambers of Commerce that which would 
enable us to shirk the responsibilities of a great historical 
people, and we acclaimed the visit of a number of curious 
German editors as the coming of the millennium. The 
Meteor incident has now taught us how untrustworthy 
are the professions of these editors. Only diseased brains 
could fail to note the anomaly of their summer warmth 
and their autumn coolness. They have made up their 
minds to seize upon all such trivial incidents as that of 
the Meteor in order to play the Kaiser's game of dis- 
tracting the attention of the discontented in Germany 
from internal to external affairs. Only men in a very 
bad way can possibly mistake their meaning. 

As a nation, we are undoubtedly sick, but not yet unto 
death. The crisis, however, is near. We have arrived 
at one of those fateful periods which, in the case of 
invalids, mean either recovery or dissolution. Fisher- 
men say that the times of the ebb and flow of the tide 
mark the most critical hours for those who are un. 
conscious. The nation is oblivious of its danger ; it 
lies in sluggish sleep ; when the awakening comes, will 
it rise a stronger creature, or pass away into the great 
company of memories ? 



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xxn 

BRITISH AFFLUENCE, INDOLENCE, AND SELF- 
SUFFICIENCY 

The present self-sufficiency of my fellow-countrymen is 
the outcome of a lengthy period of domestic quiet and 
gradual internal reform, during which even the very 
stars seemed to fight in our favour, helping us in all our 
enterprises — a prosperous time in which every nation 
seemed to live under the dread of our navy. In the 
territory bounded by our island cliffs the Pax Britannica 
has never been seriously broken for centuries. In this 
greatest money-making period of our history we were 
living on our national capital of coal. Coal, the most 
valuable concrete asset of any nation, is of supreme 
importance to an industrial people. The heat factor is 
the most expensive thing that bears upon a manu- 
facturing district. Therefore, it is to cheap coal, as 
well as to our lead in technical matters and our 
unlimited wealth, extracted from virgin territories of 
the greatest richness, that so much of the progress is 
due which is erroneously credited to Free Trade. A 
small nation which can still raise — as we did in 1906 — 
minerals to the total value of £95,870,723, must have 
had originally an enormous capital, and it is upon this 
capital that our prosperity is founded, not upon Free 
Trade. But, primarily, we achieved our commercial, 
industrial, and financial supremacy under a system of 
strict Protection ; and we are now losing it under the 
opposite policy. 

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BBITISH AFFLUENCE AND INDOLENCE 197 

Throughout this period of peace, in which we de- 
veloped our trade to the utmost, almost every European 
nation was exhausted by years of cruel military struggles, 
and unable to meet us — either in commercial conflict or 
in actual warfare — with any hope of success ; therefore 
we grew lazy and stupid, obese and stubborn ; like 
Jeshurun,* we waxed fat, but our corpulency made us 
almost unable to kick. For years we have prided ourselves 
on a stupid and arrogant reserve that inevitably made 
every other nation in Europe suspicious of us. We were 
the plaything of evil rumour until Prance took us to 
her heart. Yet, face to face with the absolutely in- 
controvertible facts that other nations have made 
relatively greater progress during our Free Trade era, 
and, full to repletion with the counsels of the party of 
destruction, Great Britain still follows the Arab motto, 
" Seek the shadow and do nothing." Though our 
faults are clear to us, though the dangers that menace 
us are patent to our eyes, we do not think of reform ! 

One has heard it said that indolent, lazy, sunny days 
tend to bring out the bad in people, and that cloudy, cold 
weather serves to bring out the good. For more than 
half a century our history has been coloured by a sort of 
selfish individual spirit : we regarded the world as 
obviously made for us — for our ships, for the purposes 
of our trading, and for our pleasure. Our superb 
egoism taught us to believe that our merchants and 
manufacturers were as unconquerable as our soldiers. 
But " Le bonheur a besoin d'etre interrompu pour etre 
senti,"f and the late African War illustrated the truth 
of this maxim. The Boers gave us a sharp lesson, which 
we have already forgotten. This teaching temporarily 
destroyed one fallacy, but, Phoenix-like, it has raised 

* " But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked : thou art waxen fat, 
thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness ; then he for- 
sook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his 
salvation " (Deut. xxxii. 15). 

f " Prosperity needs to be interrupted in order to be felt." 



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198 THE CLASH OF EMPIEES 

its crest again, and once more we deem our army in- 
vincible. We now seem to require the tonic of another 
drubbing. 

The nation that breeds statesmen who, out of mere 
caprice or personal vanity, balk the laudable aims and 
legislation of its greatest Colonies deserves a real 
beating. The canker of lethargy has again overcome 
us, and we believe that all is well with our trade, and all 
is well with our army and navy. We imagine that we 
dominate the world, and we do not even dominate our- 
selves. The higher that national conceit suffers itself 
to rise, the greater must be the corresponding fall, and 
the eventual shame. As Jay Gould used to say, " The 
more you artificially elevate your stocks and shares, 
the lower they've got to drop." 

Communities of animals have much more sense than 
we have. The whirr of a rattlesnake at night makes a 
horse quiver and transforms its lax body into an atti- 
tude of tense wariness ; at the approach of a wolf a 
herd of wild cattle will form themselves into a defensive 
circle around their young ; at the sound of a crumbling 
rock the wild goat seeks the safe places of the precipice ; 
but we are afflicted with the disease of an unutterable 
insular conceit, united with a colossal contempt for 
peoples whom we hardly know, so that the approach of 
danger disturbs us not, and we make no preparation to 
arrest it. Wealth and power we have had, and still 
enjoy, and these advantages feed our complacency, but 
the ripe fruit is already falling from the tree. 

National affluence has its dangers and inquietudes, 
even as national poverty has its hopes and its covetous- 
ness ; but we refuse to be disquieted. Despite the 
thousands of obvious facts that everywhere confront 
us abroad, disproving the fallacies of the Free Traders, 
we shut our eyes and decline to believe that our fiscal 
system is anything but right. It must of necessity be 
right, because Cobden founded our policy, and because 



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BRITISH AFFLUENCE AND INDOLENCE 199 

we did well for several decades. We are still in an 
absolutely unassailable world-position, despite our 5 per 
cent, income - tax and our armies of unemployed ! 
Britain is the pivot on which moves the world's trade, 
the centre of vital fire and energy ; her people, the small 
minority preserving the equilibrium of an unstable 
majority professing unsound political doctrines. The 
whole fabric of human society would collapse were we 
to change our fiscal opinions! Verily, it is a pretty 
comedy. Behanzin, the ex-King of Dahomey, once 
called himself the " Egg of the Universe "; but he is now 
in Algeria, guarded by his stalwart Amazons. Let us 
draw a moral from his fate. 

If our fiscal system be inevitably right, then the 
tariff policies of other nations must be wrong, and we 
are, therefore, occupying a unique place in the world, 
similar to that which Professor Alfred Russell Wallace 
assumes the earth to occupy in the visible universe. 
Solely for the good of ours — the central planet — is the 
sun shining, and the stars are travelling merely for the 
benefit of one of the smallest worlds. Pursuing this 
method of argument, we find that it is for our ultimate 
good that other nations are putting up their tariffs, be- 
cause if they do not injure us they must surely benefit 
us in some way, seeing that we are supposed to be the 
greatest trading people in the world. Moreover, it is 
an axiom with the Gobdenites that the higher the 
import duty imposed by any nation, the higher the cost 
of living must be in that country. Therefore we must 
benefit indirectly from the suicidal policy of our trade 
competitors. The hostile imposts, of which Mr. Cham- 
berlain complains, must either help or hinder us. Free 
Traders say that they do not hinder us, therefore they 
must help us, and if they help us, we surely cannot have 
any unemployed ! 

This Ptolemaic attitude of stupid self-sufficiency 
has made us the butt of nations and the laughing-stock 



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200 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of the world. For fifty years we have behaved as if 
we controlled the sun's heat, the moon's light, and 
possessed a mortgage on the whole solar system. We 
have preached the doctrine of Free Trade and prospered 
on our coal, whilst every nation has grinned at us for 
living on our capital. Our export trade with Canada 
was moribund when our excellent colonial friends con- 
ceded the British Empire a valuable preference over 
other nations, and at once our business with them in- 
creased — more than doubling itself in a few years. 
Yet, with this object-lesson before us, we play with the 
idea of general Imperial Preference, and Ministers 
whisper about it behind closed doors. 

Of late we have not been imitated, except by mistake. 
We are just tolerated because of our wealth, and patro- 
nized because of our show of strength. In criticizing 
the fiscal policy of our neighbours we adopt a superior 
air of calm pity, which is as offensive as it is ridiculous. 
It is not more ridiculous, however, than our unique 
pronunciation of Latin, which for generations has been 
wholly wrong, and, alone in being wrong, has been 
absolutely unintelligible to every nationality save the 
English. 

Foreigners, secure in the consciousness of expanding 
industries — a prosperity which Free Traders cannot 
explain — simply laugh at us, and well they may. 
Japan's foreign trade in 1906 broke all records, despite 
her great tariff increases, which came into force that 
year. It amounted to £167,000,000, the exports ex- 
ceeding the imports by £800,000. Japan occupies a 
position almost analogous to our own. She is an 
island manufacturing power, dependent upon other 
countries for her raw material, and, after sucking the 
honey of philosophy and political economy from the 
combs in the full hives of the world's universities, she has 
come to the conclusion that Free Trade is an unsound 
policy in these competitive, go-ahead days. The 



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BRITISH AFFLUENCE AND INDOLENCE 201 

scientific brains that brought Russia to her knees have 
come to this definite decision. Japan aspires to out- 
rival America as a trader, but, in order to be successful, 
she knows that she must have a tariff as the supreme 
buttress of her strength. Our own Colonies laugh at 
our Free Trade fetish, and we might as well ask Prussia 
to give up her lordship over Hanover as recommend her 
to advocate the abolition of the Zollverein. 

It is a positive offence against common-sense and 
reason that we should continue to believe our system 
of free imports to be absolutely right, when we see 
the ripe experience and judgment of all other suc- 
cessful civilizations so markedly against us. The 
amazing development of industry that continues un- 
checked in the United States, in Germany, and in other 
Protectionist countries, utterly confutes the specious 
arguments of Free Traders. Cobden's meretricious 
policy pushed forward our industrial development to 
mushroom growth, and for decades we were at the fore- 
front of invention and mechanical progress. 80 long 
as we were in the van, Free Trade was right and most 
useful to us. The moment we began to fall behind in 
invention and original development, Free Trade became 
as obsolete as the system of lighting streets by means of 
oil-lamps. 

Judging by Mr. Haldane's address delivered to the 
International Economic Congress this year, one is 
almost inclined to believe that he sees the truth of all 
these arguments. For he holds that, while we may be 
convinced that Free Trade is the best policy for such an 
island as ours, it does not follow that it is the best policy 
for other countries which adopt Protection. " It is im- 
possible," he says, " to dissociate an economic question 
from the great State questions with which it is involved." 
This is precisely the opinion of Tariff Reformers, and 
we urge that we must place ourselves on a parallel with 
Germany, because Germany is also dependent upon 



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202 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

America and Australia for her cotton and her wool, 
upon England for the coal for her navy, and upon Spain 
and other countries for her iron. 

Germany's philosophic brain, France's magnificent 
mentality, the shrewdness and hard-headedness of the 
United States, the modern scientific common-sense of 
Japan — these have not surely blundered over a simple 
sum in elementary arithmetic ! 

Cobden, the carpet-bagger, had a narrow outlook, and 
his education was limited. His ideas and methods were 
of that catchpenny order which appeals to the ignorant. 
The man whose grandfather slept in a small her- 
metically-sealed room at midsummer, and who himself 
does likewise because his grandfather loved a " frowst," 
is the man who to-day believes in Cobden. The sour- 
visaged Cascas of our villages, whose destructive ideas 
would do away with all those institutions that have 
made our country great, pin their faith to Cobden. 
They would rather remove the three ounces of butter 
on the customer's side of the scales than own to any 
defects in Free Trade. 

Those who absorbed Cobdenism with their mother's 
milk are almost hopeless from the point of view of 
political salvation. The brain-cells formed in infancy 
are the strongest of any; they outlast all the others. 
Therefore the impressions of our very early childhood 
are often our sole mental sustenance when we reach 
that elastic period of mentality which the vulgar call 
dotage. 

Seriously, however, our adherence to Cobdenism is 
a species of barbarous effrontery which is amusing to 
our competitors because it is so profitable. When a 
fool, with his pockets full of money, plunges heavily in 
a circle of level-headed card-players, those shrewd 
gamesters are not particularly rude to him, nor do they 
show him the door. They take all they can get, re- 
gretting they cannot obtain more. 



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BBITISH AFFLUENCE AND INDOLENCE 203 

Whilst we give every facility to the United States 
and to Germany in the way of providing them mar- 
kets for their surplus productions, these competitors 
of ours are carefully occupied in shutting out more and 
yet more of our manufactures, and flourishing amazingly 
at the same time. Ours is not the only country that 
increased the value of its special exports between the 
end of 1905 and the end of 1906 to the tune of 
£40,000,000 sterling. 

Great Britain is like a man who only regards those of 
his associates as level-headed whose thoughts and 
aspirations are on the same plane as his own. Our 
views in respect of a constructive Imperial policy are 
so immensely different from the ideas of all other 
nations that we look down upon their perversity with 
a superior sort of Campbell-Bannermanian or Jovian 
pity. From the constant practice of this attitude we 
have developed a wind-bag self-sufficiency which leads 
us continually to air a stupid boastfulness about our 
unique and splendid position. This evil quality has led 
to grave mistakes on the part of the members of the 
present Radical Cabinet. Under the impression that 
Great Britain is wealthy and strong enough to do what 
no other nation would dream of doing, they have in- 
dulged in acts of political generosity, which, to dis- 
passionate observers, appear to have had their origin 
in the brains of dancing dervishes, and not in the minds 
of men of experience and approved wisdom. 

We are indeed a very great nation — we are wealthy, 
and we are powerful — but we are far from secure behind 
our ramparts of blue waters. The bigger the brawny 
person the more contemptuous he is of his smaller 
fellows. Remember this, however : when your brains 
do not expand with your body, you run a risk of the 
pigmies rising and maiming you. If you grow obese 
and too peaceful and too markedly slothful, you lose 
your endurance and your character at the same time. 



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204 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

All great nations and all great men are energetic, all 
stupid and weak ones are sluggish. 

It is just the old legend of Ulysses and Polyphemus 
over again. After devouring a few of his visitors, John 
Bull, overcome with the power of wealth, winks his one 
Free-Trade eye — usually so very bright and cocksure — 
and the German Ulysses, with his ready helpers, strikes 
the ruddy pine-tree shaft of Protection straight into 
the pupil. 



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xxin 

THE ASCENDANCY OF ILLITERATE LABOUR 

Suppose we look at the case from another point of view. 
Let us say that the doctrine of Free Imports is a sound 
doctrine — if we can imagine such a thing, in face of the 
economic intelligence that is arrayed against us. Why 
do not the Free Traders look for international evidences 
of its soundness, and demonstrate them by pointing 
out the bad effects of tariffs upon manufacturing Pro- 
tectionist countries, whose raw material is largely 
obtained from extraneous sources ? If Free Trade were 
really a sound political doctrine, if its advantages are 
what its champions claim them to be, its cumulative 
results to-day would be so glaringly apparent, and our 
world-position would be so conspicuously good, as to be 
incontestable. But this, alas ! is not the case, because 
we find that a certain nation, which has built one of the 
highest walls of tariffs against us — to the supposed 
detriment of its people — is actually able to undersell 
us in our own markets, to provide work for all its sons, 
to challenge our present commercial supremacy in the 
world, and also to threaten us with the construction of 
a competitive, if not a greater, navy. 

In face of this extraordinary anomaly, would it not 
be wiser to admit that there is something wrong — that 
there is a little cloud gathering on the horizon of our 
self -contentment, which may develop into a black and 
raging tempest of ruin. The wise sailor is he who heeds 

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206 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the warnings of the threatening shreds of vapour, trims 
his sails, and makes all secure against the advent of 
the black storm. The Pan-German League, headed by 
determined men of the stamp of Dr. Hasse and Herr 
Olass, would like our prestige and power safely out of 
the way, so that the ideas that Professor Schumann and 
others of his way of thinking have so long proclaimed 
in the press may take tangible shape, and minor Powers, 
such as Holland and Denmark, may be forcibly drawn 
into the German Confederation. We must be careful, 
or the Pan-Germans may get their desires. If we 
allow the cyclone to find us unprepared; if we suffer 
it to overturn our craft, we are fools. Drowning is 
usually less unpleasant than restoration to Kf e after a 
nasty dip. Remember what Prince von Billow said in 
his triumphant speech after the 1907 elections : " The 
whole world will see that the German nation can ride 
over anything that stands in the way of its prosperity 
and its greatness." 

To prepare for awkward eventualities is precisely 
what real Imperialism asks us to do. It bids us think 
of that future, of which nobody now thinks. It advises 
us to trim our sails and to make everything secure, once 
we are satisfied that the little cloud may develop into 
danger. 

We know books by reading them, horses by handling 
them, houses by living in them, and men by trusting 
them. We know politics by the lessons of experience. 
This being so, we must refuse to allow that fatuous 
thinker Richard Cobden any longer to rule our minds. 
"The Atlantic States of America," said he, "are in- 
creasing and consuming more and more of the corn of 
their interior, and we offer them no inducement to 
spread themselves out from the cities, to abandon their 
premature manufactures, in order to delve, dig, and 
plough for us." 

We have offered them every inducement, but their 



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ASCENDANCY OF ILLITERATE LABOUR 207 

manufactures have spread out more and more, and 
they can produce almost every article of commerce 
more cheaply than we. 

If only the advance in British intellect — as applied to 
questions of political economy — could keep pace with 
the advance in range and power of foreign torpedoes, it 
might be well with us. But, although at the last British 
election Free Traders were never tired of telling us that 
Cobdenism was fatal to Socialism — which they averred 
could only flourish in a Protectionist State — we now 
find Germany practically emancipated from the Socialist 
thraldom, whilst we are more and more oppressed by 
it. This is not surprising, however, in a country where 
most men do their thinking vicariously. Imperialism 
enjoins us to think originally — to reflect for our- 
selves with the deepest self-reliance, always remember- 
ing that, at certain periods of national history, there is 
more patriotism in helping to send good men to Par- 
liament than in facing the guns of our enemies in war. 
As Mr. Keir Hardie wisely said : " The earnestness of 
the religious devotee and the learning of the Univer- 
sities are needed to leaven the Labour movement." 
When these desiderata are gained, we shall see the ranks 
of our party considerably swelled. History and logic 
are already on the side of Tariff Reformers ; very soon 
Labour will be also on their side. 

For the incalculable moral and physical benefit of the 
coming nation every British boy should be drilled in the 
principles of marksmanship and discipline, no less than in 
the elements of geography. Britons need a thorough 
grounding in the use and spirit of arms. The manhood 
of our country requires a strong military tonic, and the 
House of Commons must be reinforced with a greater 
sprinkling of staunch Imperial patriots. Mr. Haldane 
recently alluded to the consideration of a great national 
war, and he recommended us to have an army suffici- 
ently powerful to strike back — to deal the counter- 



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208 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

stroke — which is an essential part of the military 
theories of the day. Therefore, when we behold the 
phenomenon of a member of a Cabinet of vain, de- 
structive politicians advocating the formation of a 
strong national army, the outlook must be grave 
indeed. Mr. Haldane knows Germany, and he is aware 
that even the Radical parties of that country are now 
Anglophobe. When men like Herr Mueller advocate in 
the Vo88t8che Zeitung an increase in the striking power 
of an army of 5,000,000 men, it is surely time that an 
English Radical should ask for serious consideration to 
be given to the question of military defence. 

Before an effective army becomes possible, however, 
we must do away with the ascendancy of illiterate 
Labour. Working-men are too easily deluded by tricky 
sciolists, who push themselves into public notice by 
means of what the Welsh would call chapel sassiwn, and 
into municipal affairs by sheer force of vituperation. 
Destiny delights in giving the mentally afflicted frequent 
chances of making away with themselves, but no oppor- 
tunity the equal of that presented by the retention at 
Westminster of the group of muddle-headed Labour 
Members has ever been offered to the British in the 
whole of their history. But, as Abraham Lincoln said, 
you may fool some people all the time, you may fool 
all people sometimes, but you cannot fool all people all 
the time. Therefore we may assume that there is still 
hope for Britain. 

In the past, democracy has always meant national 
ruin when its ideals were cowardly and base. Liberty, 
like everything else, has a knack of getting threadbare, 
and degenerating into licence. There is all the differ- 
ence in the world between the virile democracy of 
Oliver Cromwell and the decadent and ostrich-headed 
policy of our present Labour, Radical, and Irish Mem- 
bers. To please some of these malcontents and to catch 
a few Irish votes, the present Government has subsi- 



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ASCENDANCY OF ILLITERATE LABOUR 209 

dized a line of railway to the extent of £6,000 a year, in 
order, it is said, to enable an Irish pig-jobber to get his 
swine into the despised and hated country half an hour 
earlier every day. And thus the merry game goes on* 

Labour has begun to decline its responsibilities, and 
such a course must lead to destruction. Ireland is 
reverting to prehistoric politics. The ship of State is 
encountering very heavy weather, and her captain is 
taking counsel with those who know nothing of the sea ! 

Not in Great Britain alone, but also in Australia, the 
defence of the country is looked upon by the Labour 
Party as a distasteful duty, and there it has not yet been 
made compulsory in regard to every able-bodied man. 
The working-men of Great Britain and Australia rebel 
against a sacrifice which every Swiss, Swede, German, 
Frenchman, and Japanese counts it an honour to make. 
The Australian schoolboy is taught to shoot and to 
realize the cogency of the argument that " in a country 
where there is universal citizenship there should be 
also universal liability for service." The New Zea- 
lander, too, is brought up in the spirit of " Bushido " — 
in the ethics of the old Samurai — and he is at all times 
ready to defend his land and home. We, nourished on 
mawkish hypocrisies, have no such spirit to sustain us. 
We on the mainland take as a hardship what every 
native of Jersey and Guernsey regards as a pleasurable 
duty. When the worker loses pride in his country and 
in his power to defend her, then indeed is the writing 
clear to be seen on the wall. Fortunately, however, 
there is hope that working-men will rally to the flag 
when they get proper leaders. 

Another consideration must be borne in mind. Let 
me repeat that there is no such thing in life as remaining 
fixed at one point : we are always going forward or 
moving backward. Unless we progress — even ever so 
little — retrogression is a certainty, and perhaps an 
eventual lapse into national oblivion. The next time 

14 



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210 THE 0LA8H OF EMPIRES 

we are at war with a European Power a panic will break 
out among the 80 per cent, of our population who are 
ignorant of the elementary facts and duties of life — be- 
cause they are living under unnatural urban conditions — 
that will result in an irresistible cowardly outcry for a 
shameful peace, perhaps before our navy has had time 
to strike a telling blow. The very soul and substance of 
England — that which stands for " public opinion " — is 
town-bred, town-born, and unreliable, because it has 
never yet realized the true meaning of life, of duty, of 
hope, and of honour. 

I am not sure that we are not already hopelessly com- 
mitted to the downward path. Soldiers of the highest 
eminence and all the Service organs assert unhesitatingly 
that, owing to our lack of Radical statesmen of courage 
and foresight, all the good resolutions formed after the 
South African War have come to nothing, and that we 
are to-day in a relatively worse position than we were in 
1899. Our army, like our patriotism, has become a 
diminishing quantity. The few patriotic songs that we 
have may soon disappear from the speech of the world, 
like the canticles of Phrynichus, which Aristophanes 
tells us were hummed by the veterans of Marathon as 
they went through the streets at night. 

The history of nations teaches the inexorable rule of 
mutation ; the history of individuals confirms it. Are 
we, therefore, marching towards the ideal or with- 
drawing from it ? That is the question. Unfortu- 
nately, there can be only one answer. 

An Empire generally gets the defences and the de- 
fenders it deserves. When a people treats its sailors like 
pigs and its soldiers like dogs, it must indeed be slipping 
down the nasty slope that leads to the abyss. 



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XXIV 

WHAT A WORD FROM OUR KING-EMPEROR MIGHT DO 

In Berlin it was found that the Germans greeted the 
accession of a liberal Ministry to power with unalloyed 
satisfaction — firstly, because they are convinced that 
Radicals are more inclined to friendly relations with 
their country than Unionists ; secondly, because the 
Conservative dibdele postponed Mr. Chamberlain's policy, 
which the Kaiser's subjects have always considered 
essentially and primarily anti-German; and, thirdly, 
because British liberals and Radicals alike are practi- 
cally pledged to the reduction of our navy. 

About the time of the election a warning was uttered 
in some quarters that the Fatherland would do well to 
remember that the " wearer of the Grown remained as 
before, the chief promoter of the anti-German movement 
in England." 

Of course, this falsehood is beneath contempt. British 
Democracy recognizes that its finest flower is the won- 
derful prudence of one who is an autocrat only in 
matters of good taste and sound judgment. British 
Democracy laughs at this German stupidity. The 
King-Emperor has never truckled to the War Lord, and 
he never will. He has never stooped to curry favour 
with one whose ideals and aims are frankly antagonistic 
to British power. To do so would be to confess himself 
as invertebrate as Kwang-Hsii himself. At the same 
time it must be borne in mind that the King-Emperor 

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212 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

has never said or done anything likely to cause friction 
with Germany. The refusal of our Sovereign to fawn 
upon the Kaiser has caused much bitterness in Ger- 
many, but His Britannic Majesty has never failed to 
show every possible courtesy to the Kaiser and to the 
Wilhelmstrasse. 

The Berlin Reichsbote recently went to some pains to 
accuse King Edward, in the bitterest terms, of being 
Germany's enemy. This journal has been described as 
" a paper written by pastors for pastors, in a spirit of 
rigidly official Christianity." In its anti-British effu- 
sions the Reichsbote always shows a spirit antagonistic 
to Christian principles. The bases of its attacks on 
Britain have been always lies. 

The suppression by the bureaucrats of the real facts 
relating to the Kiel visit may have helped to swell the 
number of the members of the German Navy League, 
but at the same time it has increased the deep-seated 
British distrust of Teutonic diplomacy. The King- 
Emperor most certainly desired to visit Berlin in 1904, 
but it was suggested by the Kaiser that he should go to 
Kiel instead. The suppression of this fact and the 
silence of the Kaiser and his whole entourage during 
the vigorous anti-British campaign — which has been 
conducted by the German press during the last seven 
years — is a part of that subtle statecraft which dic- 
tated the original refusal to attend the international 
naval review held at Jamestown, Virginia, this year. 
The excuse given for the proposed absence of the 
German Navy from American waters in 1907 was a 
paucity of ships, but the real reason was a desire to 
rouse the Teutonic pride, and to stimulate the German 
people to build more battleships. 

As Prince Hohenlohe's " Memoirs " clearly prove, the 
fleet is required for offensive, not defensive, purposes. 
Such is the haste with which it is being built that one 
would almost think the Emperor was moved to its 



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POWER OF ROYAL WORDS 213 

construction by feelings of deeply-wounded pride. It 
is, perhaps, well for the Kaiser that our monarchical 
traditions forbid the King-Emperor from interfering in 
the affairs of State. As the first soldier in his army 
and the first sailor in his fleet, our Sovereign's word 
could influence his people more than our rivals dream : 
if he were to appeal for a stronger navy he would 
get it, and, supported by such a constructor as Sir P. 
Watts — and an administrator of the late Lord Goschen's 
calibre, who rebuilt the British fleet between 1895 and 
1900 — we should soon be in a position to smile at all 
German naval competition. 

King Edward has always been peaceably patriotic, 
and what the late Lord Lytton thought of Queen Vic- 
toria may be said also of our King : " I have received 
from the Queen," wrote the then Viceroy of India, " a 
most kind, patriotic, and manly letter. She is really 
a better Englishman than any one of her subjects, and 
never falls short in a national crisis when the interests 
or honour of her Empire are at stake." Yet to be thus 
truthfully described does not constitute His Majesty a 
firebrand, which is the sort of character recently be- 
stowed upon him by the official Kolnische Zeitung, the 
TageblaM, and the Tdgliche Rundschau, when . the 
King-Emperor met King Alfonso and Bang Victor 
in the spring of this year. It is fortunate, perhaps, 
that this wilful misrepresentation has been made, 
because the stupid vituperation serves to stamp on 
our minds the hard, cruel realities of German suspicion 
and envy. 

The anti-British movement originated in Germany 
many years ago. It dates from the moment when the 
Princess Royal of England showed that she had a will 
and a mind of her own. It was then that the hatred of 
Great Britain sprang up like the green April shoot from 
some winter-buried seed. Aided by men of the stamp of 
Professor Delbriick, Bismarck assiduously tended the 



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214 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

plant, and now we see the tree of hate at maturity, its 
blossom full-blown. 

The eminent editor of the Vossische Zeitung was said 
to voice German advanced liberal sentiment when he 
expressed the hope that the editorial invasion of England 
had cemented a friendship that might last for ever. We 
sincerely admire this worthy, because he is the man 
who insists that the late Cabinet left Great Britain in a 
more favourable international position than she occu- 
pied at the time of the collapse of Lord Rosebery's 
Government, and that the phrase " splendid isolation " 
has no longer any meaning. But his are not the senti- 
ments of the controlling German bureaucracy. If we 
believe that they are, we are fools. 

Of course, there is no limit to human credulity. The 
old Magi thought that the world was hatched from an 
egg, and the natural history books of our forefathers 
contain at least two interesting theories that excite our 
derision. We are not now taught that swallows hiber- 
nate at the bottom of ponds, or that barnacle-geese are 
produced from bivalve molluscs, but we certainly do 
retain the most extraordinary fetishes and super- 
stitions. Yet, despite our stupidity, we are not so 
mentally hopeless as to be incapable of understanding 
the German menace. 

Referring to the Radical outcry about the so-called 
Zulu massacres, the Allahabad Pioneer said, in its issue 
of July 21, 1906 : " There are times when one feels that 
the shortest cut to effective Imperialism would be a 
massacre of the Radicals so complete that there would 
be none left to protest against the proceeding." This 
is very savage writing, but I think we may safely 
postulate the existence of a stern sentiment of justice 
in the heart of the British nation, which would not 
hesitate to prescribe the application of this punishment 
in the event of any further great national or Imperial 
betrayal. The savage is still alive in European hearts, 



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POWER OF ROYAL WORDS 215 

even as he was in the days of the French Revolution, 
and when a people finds itself cheated, fooled, and on 
the point of being irretrievably ruined, it is no respecter 
of persons. 

We have now found, to our sorrow and disgust, that 
Teutonic confidence in Radical friendship has not been 
misplaced. Afflicted by a sort of mental or political 
glaucoma, Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman invariably 
sees all peace-professing Germans — claiming to be 
leaders or spokesmen of their country — with haloes 
round their heads. On the strength of the fulsome 
assurances of a handful of editors, who were doubtless 
drilled into a correct attitude, a British Premier — the 
man whose unpatriotic parsimony, when in Opposition, 
helped to render our army impotent at a crucial moment 
—dared to tamper with the navy, and at a time when we 
had just suffered the loss of the Montagu — one of our 
most powerful craft — when the battleships Dominion, 
Hindustan, Duncan, Ramillies, Irresistible, and Implac- 
able, were all disabled — the Dominion fatally so, having 
had her back broken. When the Renown was disarmed 
and unfit for war ; when the Africa had developed serious 
defects in her trials ; when the cruisers Argyle and 
Oood Hope were damaged, and the battleships Ocean, 
New Zealand, Ganopus, and Goliath had been proved to 
possess unreliable engines, the recidivist's decision was 
announced! 

Of course, a number of our battleships are always 
under repair, but when the apostle of destruction began 
once more to make himself heard, a singularly large 
proportion were hors de combat. When the Mediter- 
ranean Fleet was recently ordered to the Levant, 
only five of its eight battleships could be sent, for this 
very reason. The Cabinet would seem to desire to 
place our Admirals in a position analogous to that 
occupied by Professor Matteucci, the brave keeper of 
Vesuvius, who did his best to deal with an eruption with 



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216 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the poorest instruments. They are imitating the foolish 
policy once preached by Lord Randolph Churchill, who 
demanded impossible reductions in the army and navy. 

Sir Andrew Noble has called attention to the supine- 
ness of the Government in not proposing to replace the 
Montagu. He employed carefully guarded words. I 
make bold to use stronger phrases : I say that their 
action is tantamount to something approaching high 
treason. They are deliberately throwing away all the 
advantages which we gained from Lord Goschen's noble 
work in adding twenty first-class battleships and twenty 
cruisers to the navy. The country that never yet re- 
fused the money necessary to build itself adequate 
defences has not given the Cabinet a mandate for this 
foolish economy. 

In the course of a few months, Britain will h&ve only 
eighteen really modem battleships, as against Germany's 
sixteen, America's sixteen, and France's twelve Under 
present arrangements, we shall not have enough genuine 
battleships in line in 1908 to form a sufficient security 
for the Two-Power standard, because cruisers of the In- 
vincible type are not battleships, when all is laid and 
done. Moreover, reserve fleets are not equal to effective 
fleets in any sense. If persisted in, this juggling with 
ships will result in perfect unfitness for war ten years 
hence. To delete first-class fighting ships from the 
roster is bad enough, but to economize heavily in the 
allowance made for repairing and docking ships is 
still worse. The business - like nation of shopkeepers 
is becoming less and less business-like. In every fleet 
one hears the same story of vessels being kept away 
from docks and repairs to save money. These are not 
the methods of efficiency or true economy. Such 
blunders are comparable only to the freakish folly of 
the September list, in which the Montagu figures as 
an effective ship in three different places ! 

Admiral Cleveland recently stated that the navy 



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POWER OF ROYAL WORDS 217 

has never been more efficient than it is now. He is 
altogether too reassuring, and when he champions the 
Lord Nelson type of vessel as against the Dreadnought 
model we are made positively uneasy. The laying-up 
of eight ships of the Royal Sovereign class and four 
armoured cruisers causes a stop to be put to recruiting 
at a time when we have need of every sailor we can get 
hold of. The personnel of the navy is weakened and 
its numbers reduced, in order to effect a trumpery 
saving to please the demagogues ; efficiency of personnel 
and ships is sacrificed, and the navy is permanently 
weakened in its most vital asset — men. Political 
chicanery of this description is not unknown in naval 
annals, for in 1889, when the Government was forced 
to pass the Naval Defence Act, they granted the ships 
demanded, but, as the Standard has reminded us, at 
the last moment Lord George Hamilton drew his pen 
through the clause providing the necessary men. The 
politicians who then stood for the principles that Mr. 
Bellairs now stands for were unable to get precise 
information on the subject of this juggling — informa- 
tion which was undoubtedly fully detailed in the port- 
folio of the German naval attache of that period — the 
House of Commons was kept in its usual condition of 
ignorance, and the navy has been undermanned ever 
since. These las^and most fatal economies are designed 
so as to drain away more and yet more of the very life- 
blood of the fleet. 

Suppression of all particulars of ships put out of com- 
mission by accidents, engine and gun defects, and the 
like, is now quite a common official sin. The gross 
incapacity which suggested the linking of the powerful 
and speedy Dreadnought with a number of old, slow and 
inferior ships is on the same plane as the mentality 
which assumes that public interest in the stricken 
vessels of the fleet is unhealthy. Our scattered home 
fleet, with its paralyzed leviathan, tries to be effective 



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218 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

in three places at once, but, with a large proportion of 
untrained men, is really effective in none. 

The preamble to the German Navy Act of 1900 
states that " economy in the commissioning of ships in 
time of peace (with full crews) means imperilling the 
efficiency of the fleet in time of war/' Hence the 
German Navy is so well manned and its ironclads are 
in such good condition that it is almost safe to predict 
that a sudden international quarrel would find us utterly 
unprepared with a squadron capable of defeating that 
now commanded by Prince Henry of Prussia. The 
craze for economy has gone to such lengths that we may 
feel quite sure the next declaration of war against us 
will find everything naval in a fatal welter of confusion. 
Whilst we get farther away from efficiency the Germans 
get nearer to it. We reduce our fleets by 25 per cent., 
and the Kaiser increases his in the same ratio. Swiftly 
and secretly is the work being carried on. In the 
Weser Yard at Bremen the first German Dreadnought 
is building, and the slips at the Vulkan Works, Stettin, 
have been enlarged, so that no time will be lost with the 
second. All the German yards are working under such 
high pressure that they cannot obtain sufficient work- 
men. A 20,000-ton armoured cruiser has been laid 
down, which is to be the fastest and most powerful in 
existence, and she is to cost £1,800,000. General Keim, 
the moving spirit of the German Navy League, is keeping 
its million members well up to the mark. Die Flotte, the 
official journal of this powerful Verein, preaches the 
need of more and yet more battleships. Meanwhile, 
the main concern of our politicians seems to be to 
reduce still further an already weak navy. No one on 
either side of the House, outside the Cabinet, is really 
glad at heart to think of the reduction in our navy, 
save, perhaps, those three strange persons, Messrs. Byles, 
Lupton, and Lehmann, whose joy on hearing of these 
false economies is comparable to that mad merriment 



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POWER OF ROYAL WORDS 219 

indulged in by Nero when Borne was burning. Their 
patriotism is equalled only by those who fawned upon 
Mustafa Khamel Pasha, the Egyptian agitator, whom 
the French had sent about his business. Mr. Byles and 
Herr Blind, .listening to an agitator who openly states 
that civil war is preferable to " the peace of slavery," 
present a spectacle of British abnormality similar to that 
which was manifested in the House of Commons when 
the first Boer victories of 1899 were announced. The 
vital fibres of a self-respecting people shrink from such 
conduct, as a rhododendron's roots from lime. Al- 
though the influence of these Little Englanders on the 
nation is small, still it is not altogether imponderable. 
Attendance at Pan-Islamic " at homes " and friendship 
with demagogues will not make the exploits of these 
Anglophobes of ours look more seemly to posterity. 
Surely Germans ought now to be content with the 
startlingly tangible evidences of national folly which are 
everywhere apparent, and joyful because of the constant 
professions of Radical friendship for an Empire that has 
never done us one single good turn since it was formed. 
In order to curry favour with them we have sacrificed 
high efficiency by putting five more effective battleships 
and fifteen cruisers in the reserve. This means break- 
downs at crucial moments, and general confusion when 
undrilled vessels are suddenly added to a strange squadron. 
Let me quote Mr. Wilson, the eminent naval expert, 
with regard to this point : " While the German Ad- 
miralty will be maintaining practically its entire force 
in commission, exercising it day after day, and training 
the German Captains to act together, and the German 
Admirals to handle the large fleets which will decide the 
future mastery of the seas, the British Admiralty is 
cutting down its fleets in permanent commission on 
the pretence of securing efficiency, dissipating its naval 
forces, giving the British Captains no proper oppor- 
tunity of working their ships in conjunction with the 



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220 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

other units of the squadrons in which they will have to 
fight, granting the British Admirals no chance of learning 
how to use large masses of ships in the day of battle." 

Only the most selfish, unimaginative, and illiterate 
politicians could view with pleasure the reduction of 
our navy to a point when a surprise on the part of 
Germany would be dangerous. Ordinary men would 
say that no Government would accept such a grave 
responsibility, but this Government is swayed, if not 
governed, by extraordinary men. Thirty-three per 
cent, has been added to the commissioned force of the 
German North Sea fleet, whilst the British fleet 
available for the North Sea has been reduced 23 per 
cent. In case of some tremendous accident to our 
Empire many of these Little Englanders would behave 
like the old lady whose carriage was smashed to atoms. 
Looking at her two smart bays lying in their death- 
throes, she ejaculated, "What a good job it is the 
whip isn't broken !" 

Now, what are we to do to convince these professors 
of ruin and degradation that it is impossible to stop an 
aggressor by means of mild words and turnings of the 
other cheek ? On July 30, 1906, the late Lord Goschen 
recorded a solemn protest against the weakening of 
the fleet ; and coming, as it did, from a man of such 
supreme sagacity and prudence, one would have 
imagined that the warning would have been heeded, 
but apparently it fell upon deaf ears. A growing boy, 
conscious of his power, is merciless and without much 
conscience. He has no respect for sentimentalism. 
Germany, the growing boy among nations, has about as 
much mercy, pity, and conscience as a big lad with a 
taste for tying kettles to the tails of helpless cats. If 
we persist in our humble and apologetic attitude 
towards this unsentimental Empire and to the world in 
general, we shall very soon be tarred and feathered — 
and serve us right. 



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POWER OF ROYAL WORDS 221 

The Institute of International Law may tell us, as 
it did at Ghent, that the sowing of fixed or floating 
mines on the high seas is forbidden. In the event of 
war, Germany, on fire with her first successes, would 
ignore this humane provision with the same glee as she 
ignores the solemn protestations of her ambassadorial 
editors, or the entreaties of a Cabinet of British vision- 
aries. Both the "military aquatics" of the Royal 
Engineers and the marine militarism of the navy will 
be hard pressed when the day comes to deal with the 
mines dropped in our territorial waters by German war- 
ships. Within twenty-four hours the Japanese lost a 
third of their battleship squadron by striking the 
enemy's mines. Had they possessed more than six 
powerful ironclads their losses would have been pro- 
portionately greater. By the agency of the deadly 
Russian mines the Japanese fleet was temporarily or 
permanently reduced by 50 per cent. Let us, then, 
have some margin of naval strength to provide against 
the day when we are suddenly attacked. The Iphi- 
genia, second-class cruiser, and three other similar 
22-knot vessels have been or are in process of being 
converted into mine-layers ; but these craft — indeed, all 
the four units of our submarine mining flotilla of the 
fleet — will need to be kept up to the highest possible 
pitch of efficiency and alertness if they are to save us 
when the hurricane of war strikes us swiftly and sud- 
denly. In any case, the repairing-ship Cyclops, built by 
Messrs. Laing at Sunderland, ought to be duplicated 
at once. There can be no two opinions on this point. 
Most likely Germany's descent upon us will come when 
25 per cent, of our Armada is incapacitated. If the 
modern Sennacherib attacks us some night when the 
southern breakwater at Dover is again damaged by 
another timber-ship from Hallsta, when Portsmouth 
Dockyard is again on fire, and another big explosion 
has made Woolwich reel, we shall be queerly placed. 



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XXV 

GERMANY'S CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 

Knowing quite well that the Emperor William ewes 
not the snap of a finger for the Hague Conference, let 
us hear Germany's foremost naval expert on this subject 
of disarmament. Count von Reventlow lately informed 
an interviewer that, as his country's naval power is 
still so very inadequate for the defence of her coasts 
and shipping interests, Germany can have no other 
thought than to bring her fleet up to the required military 
strength as rapidly as possible. Meanwhile, immediately 
after the Lord Nelson was launched, there were no battle- 
ships left on the stocks in our country, a condition of 
things that has not been paralleled for at least fifteen 
years. 

Reductions in foreign naval budgets interest Germany, 
but they are wholly without effect on her policy. A 
halt in her construction programme is not to be con- 
sidered for an instant. Spurred on by Berlin organs of 
the stamp of the Bismarck-Bund, she pretends to imagine 
that France and Great Britain are as one soul and one 
body in their hatred of her. But France, a notoriously 
pacific State, is simply terrorized by the policy of the 
sharp sword and dry powder of Central Europe, and 
she is ever on the defensive. She cannot limit her 
armament, neither can we. 

Count von Reventlow said, too, that he considered 
our latest naval programme a victory for the. British 

222 



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GERMANY'S CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 223 

Admiralty, instead of a triumph for the Radicals. " I 
believe," said he at the Dresden Pan-German Congress, 
" that only an aggressor could make such a proposal to 
disarm." Thus it comes about that this unprecedented 
act of Radical insanity is regarded as aggressive. Such 
nonsense deludes neither Germans nor Englishmen. 
Though our Premier is obviously sincere, he has suc- 
ceeded in raising a perfect storm of suspicion and 
anxiety in Germany. A recent debate in the Reichstag 
afforded ample proof of this fact, and we have now had 
the opportunity of hearing the Kaiser's subjects give 
expression to the feelings that have filled their minds 
with rancour for many years. Their almost insupport- 
able thoughts, so long unspoken, are at length uttered, 
and we know what we are to expect in the future. 
British patriots, though plunged in sorrow, cannot but 
smile at the way in which every move in British policy 
is made to serve the purposes of the German Navy 
League. The bureaucrats pretend that the pacific 
overtures of our Premier are expositions of Machiavel- 
lian duplicity. Prince von Billow's organ, the Siid- 
deutsche Korrespondenz, more than hinted at the time 
of the January elections that Great Britain had a 
special reason for desiring the Kaiser's defeat at the 
poll. In fact, there is nothing in the way of crazy 
accusations that has not been levelled against Great 
Britain during the last five years. 

From these utterances it is evident that the German 
Admiralty is hard-up for excuses for the prosecution 
of its building plans. Ernst Mayer's pamphlet, " Los 
von England," shows what difficulty there is in making 
out a clear case for a big fleet. Germany is equally 
lacking in stimulating naval legends to inspire her sea- 
men. "The History of the German Navy," however, 
gives a list of officers and cadets who have lost their 
lives in the service, but the editor could only find one 
individual to figure as "killed in action." This was 



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224 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Kapt-leutnant Niesemann, who fell at Tres Forcas in 
1852. 

Admiral Tirpitz finds it difficult to cover the zeal of 
his Imperial prompter with diplomatic explanations, or 
to produce excuses for Count von Reventlow's uncom- 
promising heroics : 

" In Germany," he said, " people cannot but laugh 
at the British disarmament schemes, for we are only 
building a fleet to get out of our defenceless position. 
The most we could propose to the British is that they 
should slacken their rate of building until our fleet 
reaches the strength of theirs. That done, we will 
undertake not to increase the number of our ships." 
This, then, is the answer to Britain's eirenicon/ This 
is the response to our Premier's article in the Nation / 

To explain the real reasons for the projection of 
eighteen ships superior to the Dreadnought, at a cost of 
thirty-six millions sterling, without wounding British 
susceptibilities, would require a mind with all the com- 
bined mentalities of Talleyrand, Bismarck, Napoleon, 
and Richelieu. As things are, the justification of the 
German bureaucracy for their Chauvinist policy is 
about as well-founded as the proclamation of the 
Viceroy of Canton, who lately bade the people of his 
district protect the moon dining her period of eclipse 
from being swallowed up by the dragon. The methods 
of the two bureaucracies are identical. Both play on 
the credulity of men as the wind plays upon ripe corn. 

The agrarian Deutsche Tageszeitung is ironical : " How 
little the expenditure of over six millions sterling a year 
resembles disarmament may be gathered from the fact 
that no other country spends nearly so much. Thanks 
to the industry of previous years, England is so richly 
provided with naval equipment that she can easily 
afford to masquerade as a disarmer for a single twelve- 
month. The world's Dreadnought statistics now appear 
as follows : England, one building, three proposed ; 



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GERMANY'S CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 225 

Japan, two building ; Germany, two proposed ; France 
and America, one each proposed. England and Japan, 
accordingly, in 1908 will have six of these incomparable 
ships for action, while the other States have none. 
In such circumstances anyone can smugly talk of dis- 
armament and the love of peace." 

Bravo, Deutsche Tageszeitung I Your lessons have 
been well learnt. Your editor is wiser than the con- 
troller of the Daily Neios, for all astute Germans know 
that the golden age is not yet here. Nevertheless, our 
Daily News editor is shrewder than he appears. He is 
aware that the Premier has no mandate for the im- 
poverishment of the navy, and that his claim to possess 
such authority is preposterous. He knows what the 
country would say were the Premier to ask what it 
thinks of this Radical attack on our first line of defence. 
He is aware that at present the reduction of armaments 
is a mere vision, and that one might as well decree that 
the feline tribe should possess no claws. Nations are 
as envious of one another's warships as women of one 
another's jewels. 

" Du prangst stets im Ballkleid und 
IohniohtbeiDir!"* 

This has been Germany's bitter inward accusation of 
Great Britain ever since she became an Empire. 

When Cobden first advocated Free Trade he had 
some such vague ideas as those now aired by the vision- 
aries. " Our principles," said he, " if carried out . . . 
the Free Traders believe, would bring peace and harmony 
among the nations. . . . We planted the olive-tree, 
never expecting to gather the fruit in a day ; but we 
expected it to yield fruit in good season, and with 
Heaven's help and yours it shall do so yet." 

Time has brought him his answer. Free Trade has 
neither broken down the barriers of nationalism nor 

* Thou art ever brilliant in gala-dress, and I not beside thee 1 

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226 THE CLASH OF BMPIBM8 

made an end of war. The fallacies of Cbbdemam have 
been as effectually disproved as Sir Henry Oampbefl- 
Bannerman's disarmament fallacies will be confuted 
during the next five or ten years. Germany's con- 
temptuous and natural reply to our Premier is practical 
and effective: it is the answer of the virile man of 
action to the flaccid dreamer. She teDs him that very 
shortly die will have in readiness five dockyards capable 
of building battleships of more than 18,000 tons; she 
intimates that she is about to increase the depth of the 
Kiel Canal at an expense of many millions of marks ; she 
also informs him with inimitable courtesy, that the 
Government dockyard at Kiel will soon be busy with 
the Kaiser's new 20,000-ton cruiser; further, that the 
Krupp slips at Kiel are to be built with a view to con- 
structing warships of 25,000 tons. 

Let us learn a lesson from the mouth of General von 
Liebert, of the German Navy League, who declared that 
if anybody asked him whether Germany should dis- 
arm, he would say, " For God's sake, keep your army 
and build ships." As the balance of power now stands, 
our whole fate and future lies in the North Sea, and if 
we do not soon begin to realize that security there is 
cheap at any cost, we are lost. 

The Ersatz Bay em battleship is to render the Dread- 
nought obsolete, and now all the Powers are to start 
afresh. Germany does not propose to build eighteen 
useless ships like those of our " County " class, but only 
effective and seaworthy craft. When he formulated 
his proposal for the reduction of armaments, the Premier 
already knew that, since our original Dreadnought pro- 
gramme was drawn up in October, 1905, a new German 
Navy Bill had been passed which would increase the 
expenditure upon the Kaiser's fleet by at least 35 per 
cent. He also knew that the Kaiser's naval estimates 
are rising as ours are falling, and that it is the constantly 
expressed intention of the million members of the Ger- 



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GERMANY'S CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 227 

man Navy League to have a fleet capable of meeting 
the British, and, moreover, that it is the avowed 
purpose of all German editors to have ships equal to 
those of other Powers in fighting force, backed up by 
the interesting potentialities of a special mining corps. 
And yet he went to Germany hat in hand. The real 
reason for his humility is one of finance. Although Sir 
William White has tried to show that we have still twice 
the building power of Germany, the Radical Cabinet 
are fully aware that we have nothing like twice the 
financial resources of our rivals, because, under our 
present unique fiscal policy, our margin is rapidly de- 
creasing, and economy — and false economy at that — is 
all the cry. 

Further, our Premier knows, or most decidedly ought 
to know, that we have no adequate reserve of heavy 
guns, either to take the place of worn-out weapons or 
to furnish the full complement of batteries to new 
battleships. The reserve per ship in the German Navy 
is twice as great as in our own ; moreover, the shore- 
defence guns of the Germans are similar to their naval 
ones, this homogeneity constituting a great advantage. 
The Admiralty for the last ten years have been main- 
taining a quite inadequate reserve of heavy guns. The 
Daily Graphic recently proved that a number of 12-inch 
Mark VIII. guns, of improved steel, were being made 
for the fifteen ten-year-old battleships of the Canopus 
and Majestic classes as late as 1906! These vessels 
will soon be obsolete — say in another five years — and 
had they been wanted for active service in 1905 the 
gravest difficulties might have arisen. All these facts, 
and more besides, have been faithfully repeated to Ger- 
many by those spies who watch over our dockyards 
night and day, and report all the affairs of British ships 
to the German Admiralty. 

The naval journal Ueberall responds gallantly to the 
efforts of the German Navy League, and assures its 

15—2 



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228 THE CLASH OF BMP I RE 8 

readers that Germany can possibly excel British feats 
of shipbuilding, promising to have the best and most 
modern fleet on the seas in the shortest space of time. 
The German ships will be built as fast as the British. 
Moreover, they will have the powerful auxiliaries of 
full supplies of reserve guns and torpedoes. We must 
remember that when Fraulein Bertha Krupp became 
the Baroness Gustav von Bohlen-Halbach, her work- 
people could not be allowed even a half-holiday to 
celebrate the event. We have no reserve guns and no 
reserve torpedoes, and, in case of a sudden war — be- 
ginning, say, with the descent of thirty-six German 
destroyers upon our shores, unobserved by warships or 
by coastguard stations, as in September, 1906 — I sup- 
pose Messrs. Armstrong, Whitworth and Company would 
be put on double shift, and torpedoes would be requi- 
sitioned from Japan. The country would greatly like 
to see a return of our ammunition reserves, now that 
Woolwich is less busy. 

According to a recent official statement, the Dread- 
noughts ten big guns were to cost £110,000. This left 
£4,000 for the remaining guns and torpedoes, and, 
as has been already most ably pointed out, " absolutely 
nothing for reserve." 

The new German armoured cruisers will have ord- 
nance as heavy as that which is to be put in the battle- 
ships. These lighter vessels will have a displacement of 
15,000 tons, and carry eight 50-calibre 11-inch guns, 
and they will be battleships in all but name. Like 
General von Einem, the Chief Director of the German 
Admiralty hopes to carry out his shipbuilding pro- 
gramme " without hurry, before it comes to war." 
Whichever nation first gets a homogeneous squadron of 
these swift monsters and a brace of modern mining-ships, 
such as the one laid down this year in Germany, will 
secure the command of the sea until some other Power 
acquires the combined superiority of numbers, weight, 



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GERMANY'S CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 229 

strength, and speed. Such a body of ships will be able 
to have the weather-gauge of any squadron of inferior 
ironclads, and if the Power in possession has followed 
the example of Japan in retaining and relying upon 
large numbers of 6-inch quick-firers to smother the 
enemy in a hail of metal and cut down his funnels after 
the first big blows have been exchanged, victory will 
be easy to attain. The Satsuma, a ship of 19,200 tons, 
constructed by Japanese labour alone, is the most 
powerful vessel in the world to-day, and she owes her 
power very largely to her minimum of woodwork, her 
splendid fire apparatus, her freedom from top hamper 
in the upper works, and, above all, to her relatively 
large armament of 6-inch quick-firers. 

Germany has been very rusi in the matter of battle- 
ships since the affair of Mukden. This is always her 
way. Whenever a nation shows weakness she takes 
immediate advantage of it. Her destiny demands this 
policy. She realizes that victory will be with the Power 
that builds the largest number of battleships of the 
Ersatz Bayern type in the shortest possible time, for 
any one of these vessels could annihilate a squadron of 
less powerful ships, as each will have the three great 
superiorities of speed, armour, and armament. This 
type of ironclad, with its sixteen long 11-inch guns, will 
be an enormous way ahead of the Dreadnought, just as 
the new German armoured cruiser, with her twelve 
11-inch guns, is a long way ahead of the British In- 
vincible class — with eight 12-inch guns forming the main 
battery — and the modern armoured cruisers of other 
Powers. 

The reason Germany gives for this latest and most 
daring naval challenge is fully expressed in La Fon- 
taine's line, "La raison du plus fort est toujours la 
meilleure."* Her naval attache is not in London for 
pleasure. Through him she knows only too well that 

* The reason of the strongest is always the best. 



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230 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the " window-dressing " tactics of the British Treasury 
and Admiralty, in making absolutely no provision for 
gun, torpedo, and other reserves, betokens a condition 
of muddle-headedness in our legislators that may be 
openly defied. 

Ours is merely a semblance of defence. Now that 
the active German fleet, under Prince Henry of Prussia, 
is raised to a strength of eighteen battleships and six 
armoured cruisers, it has become the most powerful 
squadron in the world controlled by a single Admiral, 
so that if our Channel Fleet of sixteen battleships was 
attacked and destroyed suddenly, the rest of our naval 
forces would be taken in detail. With such a hostile 
fleet so near to us, surely the Government was ill-advised 
to withdraw seven battleships and four cruisers from 
commission. In 1906, the average number of points 
gained per ship in battle-firing practice was 181-7 as 
against 98*4 in 1905. Sir P. Scott's inspections of 
target practice have apparently been stimulating, but 
even such wonderful records as have been shown in 
individual ships will count as nothing in the future 
unless our ironclads are in the right place, in the right 
numbers, and at the right time. 

Our two great foreign fleets, the Atlantic and the 
Mediterranean, being reduced to squadrons of six battle- 
ships each, will both require to be brought up to the 
minimum number of eight battleships if we are to have 
even proper practical training, let alone efficiency, in 
war. With a defiant Germany (buttressed by the two 
other members of the still unbroken Triplice) for ever 
shaking the mailed fist in our faces, this is surely no time 
to reduce the two strong units of the Atlantic and 
Mediterranean Fleets. 

Lord Tweedmouth complacently assures us that we 
shall have " four vessels of the Dreadnought type, the 
Lord Nelson and the Agamemnon, and the three big 
cruisers of the Invincible type, all ready by the spring 



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GERM ANTS CONTEMPT OF OUR PREMIER 231 

of 1909 ;" but can we rely upon these ships being finished, 
equipped, and fully equal to the German vessels that will 
then be afloat ? 

The more Germany defies us, the more completely 
we shall be at her mercy so long as moral cowardice 
rules in Westminster, and there exists at Portsmouth, 
Chatham, and Devonport no proper system of dealing 
with Admiral von Koerper's subordinates, or those 
espionage agents who corrupt our dockyards' men in each 
naval centre, under the intelligent direction of their 
superiors at Kiel. There are at least six persons at 
Portsmouth who are in the German Secret Service, and 
no seaport is free from the spies of our rivals. Unless 
we realize this danger very soon we may lose our 
colossal power almost at one blow; the Kaiser may 
make us yield to him as easily as Cyrus subjugated 
Babylonia under Nabonidus. Then, if Britain falls, 
plucky fishwives will march on the Downing Street 
cowards, to show them what they ought to have done. 
We must never forget that, at any moment, any two of 
our battleships may be rendered hors de combat, even 
in time of peace. The collision of H.M.S. Common- 
wealth and Albemarle in February, 1907, might have 
been much more serious, and it showed how perilous it is 
to tamper with our navy. The letter that Lord Wolseley 
wrote to Lord Wemyss last November is a remarkable 
document, from which I take the liberty of quoting a 
paragraph : 

" It is the British people who are to blame, who prefer 
the politicians who pretend to scoff at the possibility of 
invasion, and refuse in their stuck-up folly to disregard 
the warnings which the great Duke left this nation as 
a legacy. Mr. Tobias Jones, M.P., and the Smiths and 
Robinsons, all busy to make money, profess to laugh at 
danger, and ignorant John Bull makes haste to admire 
their wisdom." 

Further on : " The people prefer those who assure 



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232 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

them of peaoe, perfect peace." This is all absolutely 
true. The warning contained in the Duke of Wel- 
lington's letter to Sir John Burgoyne is not heeded 
nowadays. Yet we find one of our ablest Generals 
confessing how lifelong study has proved to him that 
England is most vulnerable, and that he prefers to err 
with such great soldiers as Napoleon and Wellington 
upon a question that the politicians of the Temple and 
the Labour leaders have settled differently, to their own 
satisfaction and the delight of their purblind con- 
stituents. 



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XXVI 

OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 

For the time being, then, our truest economy lies in 
a sound building programme and in the expulsion of 
obsolete vessels from the service. Of course, it seems 
wasteful to take a beautiful battleship, with her vitals 
still hot with strength, and to cast her on the scrap- 
heap ; but such an act is an exhibition of the truest 
economy. What is the use of vessels that cannot 
withstand modern fire ? But there is no economy in 
taking anti-torpedo guns from our big ships in order to 
increase the armament of our " river-class " destroyers, 
because there happens to be no reserve of 12-pounders 
to draw upon ! Colonel Pollock has recently told us 
that six months' training of average material will pro- 
duce thoroughly efficient soldiers, who will flee whining 
at the first whine of a bullet. Battleships, however, 
cannot be thus improvised. Three years is about the 
time usually taken to build a large warship ; and if we 
deplete it of its guns after it is commissioned, that ship 
is ineffective ; therefore we must not delude ourselves 
by considering our navy greater or stronger than it is. 

A diminution, by nearly £12,000,000, of the excess 
of our annual naval expenditure over that of the United 
States and Germany combined is a fatal reduction in 
our sea strength. If we continue thus to reduce our 
navy, in a dozen years the destiny of our Empire will 
be decided, and decided against us. In 1906, we placed 

233 



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234 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

no new battleships on our stocks, and we had only five 
building or projected. In other words, our relative 
position in battleships has lately altered to a very serious 
extent. A similar remark applies to cruisers, and also 
notably to destroyers. In battleships building and 
projected there has been a change from an excess of 
27 per cent, for Great Britain over France and Germany 
in 1901, to a deficiency of 55 per cent, in 1906. Hard 
economic and geographic truths are the controlling 
factors of the international political situation, not the 
childish speeches of Ministers, whose efforts of genius 
depress instead of stimulating us. The most important 
issues of a great Empire are decided not by the fatuous 
reasoning of theorists, educated or illiterate, but by men 
who control the hard, stern facts of blood and steel. 

Our present rate of construction will not long main- 
tain the Two-Power standard in either battleships or 
cruisers, and the next blow at our national prestige will 
be harder than that of the Boer War, and may conceiv- 
ably lead to irretrievable bankruptcy. That indefatig- 
able Liberal, Mr. Carlyon Bellairs, recently quoted 
from a speech in the House of Commons on 
February 21, 1902, in which Mr. Asquith dwelt on the 
great growth in recent years of all foreign navies, and 
urged that it was impossible to ignore these facts when 
taking into account what preparations the Admiralty 
ought to make to meet the dangers to which we are 
exposed. Mr. Asquith added that he thought that 
what is called the Two-Power standard represented the 
minimum of safety. It was by far the best form of in- 
surance, not only of our commerce, but of the safety of 
our shores and the very existence of our population in 
the face of dangers which we all hoped might be remote, 
but against which it was our business to guard. This, 
Mr. Bellairs claims, was the attitude of a business man. 
The only legitimate excuse for recent reductions, Mr. 
Bellairs contends, would be that they have proceeded 



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OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 235 

pari passu with reductions in the navies of our principal 
rivals — France, Germany, and United States. Com- 
paring April 1, 1901, with 1906, we find the facts as 
regards ships building or projected were as follows : 





Battleships. 
1901. 1906. 


United States 
France ... 
Germany... 
France and Germany 
Great Britain 


12 13 
5 12 
10 8 
15 20 
19 9 



The Two-Power standard being equality in numbers 
to the fleets of any two Powers, plus a margin of 10 per 
cent., neither the foregoing figures nor Lord Tweed- 
mouth's utterances at the Eighty Club dinner at Oxford 
serve to allay our fears. We have nothing like the pre- 
ponderance we had in 1900-1904, either in effective 
ships or in the power of these ships, the difference 
against us being now about 14 per cent. 

We are still reeling from the shock of losing 
£280,000,000 or more in South Africa, and our feeling 
of vertigo is increased by the knowledge that this 
gigantic expenditure may have been made in vain. 
There is no knowing where these mad Radicals, with 
their mania for reckless retrenchment, may eventually 
lead us — into what Serbonian bogs, into what un- 
paralleled dangers. The next war, which we shall 
have to wage with a depleted navy, may possibly cost 
us £600,000,000 or more. To give up our naval supre- 
macy would be national suicide ! 

There was one period during the Boer struggle when, 
with our unstable and poor gold reserve, we experienced 
extreme difficulty in obtaining the amount we required 
for Treasury purposes. This was in Colenso week, and 
it is quite conceivable that the same trouble may occur 
again in a more acute form. Germany not only has 
her Spandau treasure-chest, but at the end of last year 
the Reichsbank's gold reserve was £29,000,000, against 



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236 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the Bank of England's reserve of £28,000,000. More- 
over, an immense amount of money is being spent in 
new harbours, barracks, and Government workshops. 
The new ship canal from Wilhelmshaven to Emden will 
soon be under way, and the Dollart Bay is to be de- 
veloped. This does not look very much like a country 
impoverished by high tariffs, or injured by the stress 
of the conflicting interests of eighteen separate and dis- 
tinct political parties. In any case, however, it is 
imperative that the reserve of gold in the Bank of 
England should be maintained at a sum certainly not 
less than £100,000,000, especially at this period of inter- 
national doubt and uncertainty. Whilst all the other 
great nations constantly endeavour to increase their 
holding of gold, we seem to neglect this all-important 
point. When almost every one of seventy or more 
producing companies on the Rand is being worked 
at a profit — and the total yearly dividend distributions 
from that quarter are not less than £6,000,000 sterling, 
say approximately 25 per cent, of the value of the gold 
yield — surely we, who are undoubtedly the largest share- 
holders, should take steps to safeguard this vast colonial 
treasury, by amassing a gold reserve for its defence, 
and by putting our navy beyond German competition, j 
If we fail to do so, and a war breaks out, the British 
taxpayer, who has experienced the unhappiness of 
seeing every form of security depreciate during the 
present Liberal regime, may then, perhaps, have the 
privilege of learning that fortunes, dependent upon the 
security of our commerce, the richness of our colonial 
lands, and upon the unassailable character of our insular 
position, may disappear altogether. If adopted, the 
recommendations contained in the article by Mr. J. A. 
Murray Macdonald, M.P., in the May number of the 
Contemporary will absolutely ensure a war, for weakness 
invariably invites aggression. The army has been 
made the shuttlecock of party, with the most dis- 



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OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 237 

astrous results. If the navy be made another play- 
thing, it is all over with us. 

Too great a confidence must not be placed upon the 
Japanese Alliance, and we ought to be ashamed of our- 
selves for seeking to reduce our naval and military 
strength when our ally is increasing hers. Admiral 
Sir Archibald Douglas, Commander-in-Chief at Ports- 
mouth, recently received from the Mikado the Order of 
the Rising Sun of the First Class ; but he did not get this 
distinction in recognition of his services in teaching the 
Japanese Navy to take care of us, but by instructing it 
how to achieve its own national victories. 

The Temps warns Frenchmen against listening to 
pacificists, who prescribe reductions in the French Navy 
on the strength of the British example. Germany 
refuses to follow the lead of Sir Henry Campbell- 
Bannerman, and, in consequence, both France and 
Britain should continue to arm a outrance. At any 
rate, we cannot allow any nation to obtain such a 
position on the Continent as to be capable of dominating 
her neighbours. The United States have set about the 
completion of a splendid navy, because shrewd trans- 
atlantic brains have the prescience to discern that 
many struggles for territory and Colonies may take 
place ere long in the New World. The keenest intellect 
in the Radical party would find it impossible to prove 
that a single really great Power is anxious to reduce its 
naval and military expenditure. Not one important 
Continental Chancellery pays the slightest heed to Sir 
Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who is rightly regarded 
as the mere tool of an ignorant Democracy — a Demo- 
cracy that has utterly failed to keep its place against 
intelligent Continental industrial competition. Through 
unprincipled representatives eager for power, a vast 
horde of uneducated people, professing the most egoistic 
doctrines, has grasped the reins of our statecraft, and if 
the mob be allowed to control the destinies of the 



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238 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

country for long, Britain will assuredly fail to keep her 
place against Continental naval and military compe- 
tition. 

When we find reputable journals like the Speaker 
trouncing Mr. Haldane for advocating a greater spread 
of the Voluntary Service movement, deriding the aims 
and objects of the National Service League, and de- 
scribing as " a hideous reaction " this late awakening 
on the part of British patriots to a consciousness of the 
national weakness — well, we are indeed at a loss for 
words! 

When educated men of other nations read that, 
during a coming session, Mr. Keir Hardie hopes to get 
the millions saved on the naval estimates " as a nest- 
egg for old-age pensions," they know that our nation 
is really decadent and slowly sliding towards the abyss. 
Germany openly expresses her special derision and 
contempt, and she does not even take pains to conceal 
her intentions of hastening our descent into the Avernus 
of the future. Mr. Lloyd George once said : " A big 
country like the United States may make as many 
blunders as it likes, and not feel them much. Its 
inexhaustible natural resources enable it to pull up. 
Britain has to depend upon its commerce, and not upon 
its natural resources, and a blunder in such circum- 
stances would be irretrievable." 

It is of just such a blunder that we now complain — 
the attempt to lessen the safeguard on our commerce. 
When we gave up Heligoland to Germany we little 
dreamt how important she considered that island, but 
because we made that mistake we have no need to 
make another. If some attempt were made to economize 
in the Civil Department of the Admiralty, and to spend 
these savings in ships; such a sane policy would be wel- 
come ; but, as has been well said, the Government re- 
minds us of the man in Hogarth's picture who, seated 
astride a signboard, is busily engaged in sawing away his 



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OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 239 

only support. We might even use another figure : The 
nation is actually in the position of a runaway train, 
rapidly approaching perdition. No one now thinks of 
springing to the vacuum-brake valve in the guard's 
van ; but when someone does eventually realize his 
duty, it may be found that the brake is already ex- 
hausted and the wheels are skidding, the driver possibly 
having awakened to his danger when it is too late to 
avert a catastrophe. 

The history of Greece in the middle of the fourth 
century B.C. affords a parallel to the fatuous vanity of 
the present Cabinet. At that period the equally stupid 
Athenians, suffering acutely from swollen head, laughed 
at those who saw in the rising strength of Macedonia 
a menace to their country. History, however, has 
mocked the memories of these fools many times since 
then. 

Germany marked time in beginning her new vessels, 
waiting, doubtless, to see how our big Dreadnought 
fulfilled the expectations of the Admiralty, and how 
the swift cruisers now building at Elswick were engined. 
She knows all about the turbine now, and the Invincible, 
Indomitable, and Inflexible will have no surprises for 
her. Their 12-inch guns are being excelled at Krupp's 
works this very day, and men are in training to challenge 
the supremacy of Petty-Officer Giles of H.M.S. King 
Edward VII., who is supposed to be the best shot in 
our navy. 

Early in 1908 Germany will have three huge cruisers, 
greater and more powerful than any ever built before, 
to face our three latest vessels of this class — the In- 
vincible, Indomitable, and Inflexible. They will be of 
19,200 tons or more, and fitted with Parsons' turbines of 
50,000 horse-power, as against our cruisers' 41,000 
horse - power. Moreover, Germany's secret agents have 
long ago given her news of Colonel Cuniberti's pro- 
jections, which may conceivably revolutionize all 



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240 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the great naval programmes of the world. Colonel 
Cuniberti is the Chief Instructor of the Italian Navy, 
and his article in Mr. Fred T. Jane's " Fighting Ships, 
1906-7," is of the greatest interest, showing, as it does, 
that a speedier battleship, with a 50 per cent, superi- 
ority, is likely to be the ideal of the immediate future. 

It may be, perhaps, that our extraordinary Govern- 
ment has actually blundered into a fortunate waiting 
policy, but the balance of probability is unhappily on 
the other side. Nevertheless, pacific Cabinet pledges 
as to what will be done in shipbuilding during the years 
to come are unjustifiable, unnecessary, and stupid. It 
seems natural to expect that a properly-governed 
Great Britain will build precisely those ironclads that 
she needs. 

If the Dreadnought class is to be powerful, there must 
be numbers, homogeneity, and proper equipment. 
Such ships cannot be safely paired with battleships of 
an inferior turn of speed. The reductions foreshadowed 
in 1907-8 are said to depend upon the decisions of the 
Hague Conference, but these decisions can be accurately 
forecast. We have the experience of Lord Goechen 
to guide us, who found, when he offered to set a limit 
to our shipbuilding — being led to hope that other 
Powers would do the same — that he received not the 
slightest encouragement from any other nation whatever. 
So that the proper answer to the Berlin Qermania — 
which announced to our Premier a new programme for 
an increase in the navy, to be placed before the Reichstag 
in the autumn — was the news that two brace of Dread- 
noughts were to be put on the stocks forthwith. 

Instead of this, however, matters are proceeding 
precisely as if no danger threatened. Is it ignorance or 
obstinacy that leads our statesmen thus to ignore the 
responsibilities of Empire ? Of the three battleships 
of the British 1906 programme only two have as yet 
been laid down. One is the Betterophon, at Porte- 



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OUR TRUEST ECONOMY 241 

mouth, the other the TdmSraire 9 at Devonport. The 
Superb will be built at Elswick. To lay down a vessel, 
however, does not spell security. The work must be 
hastened at all costs. Shipbuilding programmes are 
usually settled in the month of October, but, as a rule, 
the projected ships are not laid down until at least ten 
months later, and big Invincible cruisers take thirty 
months to build. Therefore something may happen 
in the three intervening years that may be fatal to us. 

We know that, since the last meeting at the Hague, 
two of the chief Powers represented have engaged in 
long and costly wars. We know the trend of Germany's 
thought by the expression of her publicists and the 
outpourings of her press, from which we clearly gather 
that, for political purposes, Britain is always to be held 
up as a fixedly hostile nation ; therefore, these thrifty 
Ministers of ours have no sort of decent excuse for 
beginning to practise that fatal economy which already, 
and more than once in our history, has resulted in a 
centupled expenditure. 

" The revenue, is the State," said a celebrated political 
economist. When we are confronted by such a dangerous 
situation, created by the Kaiser's renewed efforts to 
force up the severity of naval competition, it appears 
to me that our sanest economy would lie in the direction 
of a tax upon those goods the profits on which are 
building the German Navy. Then the revenue would 
be the State indeed ! Sooner or later tariff revenue will 
become the absolute and only alternative to Socialist 
taxation. Our income-tax is already at a higher figure 
than it ought to be in time of peace, and our municipal 
taxes increase year by year with unvarying and fatal 
regularity. Therefore our whole system of national 
finance must be reformed without delay if we are to 
maintain the defensive forces of the Empire at a proper 
standard, meet the constant and imperious demands 
of extravagant municipalities, and, at the same time, 

16 



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242 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

be in a position to deal effectively with those foreign 
countries whose unchecked competition is injuring so 
many of our industries, and threatening the peace and 
security of the whole world. Those financial pundits 
who say that to take one penny off tea or twopence off 
sugar would make no difference in the price of either 
article to the consumer, and, in the same breath, urge 
that a similar preferential tax* upon foreign corn would 
so increase the price of bread that the consumer might 
starve, must be replaced by men who can work out 
ordinary sums in simple arithmetic without falling into 
conspicuous errors. 

* Five years ago, when a duty of one shilling a quarter was im- 
posed on imported corn, the prioe of wheat fell slightly, while it rose 
when the duty was abolished. Official reports show that the same 
results have followed the increase and reduction of corn duties in 
France, Germany, Italy, and Belgium during the last twenty-five 
years. 



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XXVH 

THE TIME TO CRY " VEEBOTEN " 

The Government have recently abandoned the con- 
struction of three out of the eight Dreadnoughts which, 
under the Admiralty's own memorandum of 1905, 
ought to have been laid down in 1906 and 1907. To 
restrict the number of our ships would look like wisdom, 
if our Navy could be always cruising round our shores. 
Unfortunately, however, such concentration is imprac- 
ticable in time of peace, and our fleet is usually spread 
over the waters of those parts of the world wherein 
lie our vast interests. It is only too probable that the 
next war will come as a bolt from the blue and find our 
Armada scattered, and Prince Henry of Prussia in 
command of the greatest active fleet in the world's 
navies — a compact striking force of twenty battleships, 
and five huge armoured cruisers, six protected cruisers, 
and thirty-two destroyers, all ready for instant use in 
the North Sea, where we have absolutely no organized 
fleet. Several battleships with reduced crews and a 
few destroyers at Sheerness is all the force we have to 
repel a sudden German attack upon our unprotected 
East Coast. Moreover, the Channel Fleet is reduced 
from sixty-seven units to twenty-one, and its Admiral 
has neither destroyer nor torpedo craft under his 
command. Thus we are at the mercy of a bold enemy 
resolved on an eagle-swoop. The German ships are 
fully manned and ready for instant work, ours are in a 

243 16—2 



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244 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

state of suspended animation. Were Germany to strike 
at us to-night she could inflict a mortal wound ! Well 
may the latest sensational Berlin book be entitled 
€i Albion, quo vadis ?" The Institute of International 
Law — which adopted the humane resolution that 
hostilities shall not begin without previous and un- 
equivocal warning — may preach from now till dooms- 
day, but Germany will not bind herself to such a policy. 

The British nation has a habit of turning and rending 
those who have betrayed it in naval matters, but to 
worry peccant Ministers, or even to hang, draw, and 
quarter them, would be no consolation to Imperialists 
made desperate by the fulfilment of their most ominous 
predictions. We cannot but feel uneasy when we read 
such General Orders as those issued by Admiral Koester, 
in September, 1906, on handing over the command of 
the German active battle-fleet to its new Commander- 
in-Chief, Prince Henry of Prussia : " I leave the fleet 
with the joyful knowledge that in the future, under 
the control of my successor, it will become an even 
sharper and stronger weapon in the hands of the Em- 
peror." No wonder the German press prints this 
effusion in italics ! Meanwhile, the British public is 
being deceived with the idea of a naval strength which 
does not exist, and our most thoughtful Admirals are 
in despair at the interference of men who have insisted 
upon a condition of naval passivity and unreadiness to 
save a few thousand pounds. 

"Do not be bamboozled with the idea of strength 
which does not exist. . . . Unless you are ready, your 
ships painted the right colour, the Admiral ready for 
work, and not looking forward to reinforcements flung 
at his head, on which he has to spend time to organize 
them, it is certain you will have . . . naval disasters 
which will be irreparable." Thus wrote Mr. Arnold 
White in 1901, and his words have greater weight 
to-day. 



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THE TIME TO CRY " VERBOTEN " 245 

To leave our important Eastern Telegraph Cable 
absolutely unprotected in St. Helena, and our guns on 
that island to rust — to abandon the islanders to want and 
ruin — staggers us, as it has staggered every Admiral in 
the fleet. If it is possible for a sunken German 
tramp steamer to close the Suez Canal, St. Helena, 
lying on the old route to India, ought to be guarded at 
all costs. It is a strategical position of the highest 
importance to South Africa ; but Radical Ministers 
would seem to appreciate the importance of naval bases 
as little as they appreciate the value of consistency 
in their treatment of South African internal questions. 
But the crowning piece of Government maladroitness, 
the reduction of the arm of the service that saved 
South Africa by over two hundred guns, is a piece of 
folly so stupendous that we can hardly believe it. Why, 
even my dog has more sense than the British Cabinet. 
A pot of boiling soup was dropped upon him in puppy- 
hood, nearly scalding him to death. He knows now when 
a pan or a kettle boils, and avoids the kitchen range 
accordingly. Moreover, he barks whenever the kettle 
steams on the tea-table spirit-stove. Altogether a very 
wise and practical dog. 

The strategical value of the Scilly Isles and their 
searchlights and guns, on which some quarter of a million 
has been recently spent, may be a matter for debate ; 
there can be no two opinions, however, on the value 
of two hundred guns in the regular artillery. To place 
thirty-six batteries of field gunners in the Second line 
may seem desirable from the point of view of an econo- 
mical lawyer; to arrange that only a portion of the 
regular artillery shall be armed with the absolutely 
necessary new pattern quick-firing guns, and that no 
fewer than thirty-six batteries of field artillery are to 
retain the old obsolete fifteen-pounders in a tinkered 
condition may seem very pleasant gains from the 
Premier's narrow outlook, but from the standpoint of 



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246 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

those who have campaigned these are acts of egregious 
stupidity, showing only too clearly that the lessons of 
the Boer conflict have never been learned by the Secre- 
tary for War. Even as the Admiralty have failed to 
profit by the teachings of that struggle, so also has the 
War Office. To keep the great bulk of the personnel 
of the British Navy in barracks ashore, and to attempt 
to justify such a policy after the lessons of the Russian 
disasters, would seem to indicate a desire on the part 
of the Naval Lords to emulate the exploits of the mili- 
tary authorities. There can be but one proper policy 
to recommend itself, after a study of the Eastern 
conflict, and that is this : our men must be exercised 
on the ships they are to fight in, and our newest and 
best vessels must be always at sea in commission with 
full crews, under the Admiral who will be in chief com- 
mand during war. All the principles of strategy insist 
upon the concentration of the maximum of force at the 
point of danger, this being determined by the position 
of the fleet of the probable enemy. 

We often needlessly punish our corporeal bodies by 
trying them to the utmost. In these so-called Radical 
reforms we are inflicting equal punishment on the 
body politic without the slightest reason ! We are 
sowing the seeds of a crop of trouble that may in the 
end make an end of us. A tinkered gun, with the same 
or less range that it had before it went into the hands 
of the tinker, is to be our weapon against any and every 
nation. There is not a field gun in use in any army 
of the Great Powers that could not easily outrange ours, 
even as the Boer Creusots outranged our obsolete 
weapons. 

Meantime, our system of Free Imports is presenting 
our protected competitors with Dreadnoughts free of 
charge. Our antiquated Cobdenism — a senile doctrine, 
rightly repudiated by all vigorous nations, both young 
and old — is financing the development of at least one 



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THE TIME TO CRT " VERBOTEN " 247 

fleet that begins already to be threatening. The trade 
of which we are deprived by hostile tariffs means lack 
of employment here, and lack of profit. It means a 
certain loss to us and a positive gain to our opponents 
in human power, and in the tremendous potency of gold 
and silver. The pressure of Treasury control upon the 
policy of our Sea Lords would be much less acute, 
and our national position incomparably less perilous, 
if we adopted the scientific Japanese system of taxing 
imports. 

Short of this vital reform, we must do what we can, 
but one thing we must not fail to do, and that is to 
keep the predominant naval position which we have 
had for so many years. We must be always in a posi- 
tion to go to war on behalf of our national honour, 
whenever and wherever this has been compromised. 
As Lord Lytton truly said : " It is to the material 
interest of England to keep her honour as stainless and 
above suspicion as that of Caesar's wife." The disease 
of Gobdenism is deeply-rooted, and if we cannot be 
cured of it, we should be at least insured against the 
risks it creates. Of course, the cost is appalling, but, 
so long as we are threatened by Germany, we must not 
count the cost. We cannot complain because she 
builds a big navy, but we have the right to protest when 
she tells us that it is meant to destroy us. It is not 
prudent for us to run any risks. Remember always 
that when your rifle suddenly becomes useless at a 
critical moment your courage vanishes. So with the 
nation and its navy. The moment a people loses its 
nerve that people is lost ! The French Army was once 
supposed to be ready for victorious war — even down 
to the last button on the last gaiter. But Sedan told 
a different tale. The fail of a nation comes thus sud- 
denly, with some momentous capitulation such as that 
of Sedan. Even on a windless day a tree has been 
known to fail, having broken the one rotten root that 



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248 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

held it to the ground. When the man who imagines 
that the downfall of British power is necessary to 
ensure the continued advance of German prosperity 
occupies himself, even at his hunting lodges of Hubert- 
usstock and Rominten, with plans for the development 
of his navy, and strenuously evolves schemes to ensure 
the continued efficiency of his army when walking 
through the turnips and beetroot of his favourite farm,* 
it behoves us to have our eyes open. Moltke, in stating 
the motives of Prussia in commencing her struggle with 
Austria, said that the war was waged to obtain prestige. 
The war with which Germany now threatens us will be 
fought in order to get both reputation and extended 
wealth and power. Sudden downfalls of States and 
Empires bring death and destruction with them, even 
as falling trees kill people on the high roads. Therefore, 
let us have these possibilities in mind now that the 
homogeneous, active, German battle-fleet is the strongest 
in the world to-day, despite our too carefully-tended 
Dreadnought. 

Naval expenditure is a terrible — a damnable — load 
upon a nation, and, for the matter of that, so is the cost 
of military power ; but both are called for by the neces- 
sities of the time. If the British nation will not reverse 
that fiscal policy which has supplied Germany with 
money for her fleet, then the inevitable must be faced, 
and we must make up our minds to count no expense 
too great to maintain our position of naval superiority. 
We must spend a little less on public buildings and 
municipal luxuries of that kind, a little less on electric 
trams that do not pay, and on all the senseless extra- 
vagances of the age ; then, having sensibly economized, 
we must bestow a trifle more on the army and navy. 

Let Ministers cease to be cowed by Labour Members ! 
Every man in high places ought to adopt the attitude 
of the late Mr. W. H. Smith, who threatened to resign 
* Cadinen. 



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THE TIME TO CRT " VERBOTEN " 249 

rather than ask for less than|the absolute minimum 
necessary for the safety of the country. Incredibly 
stupid as the British public is, it will never allow a 
Minister to resign who is thus patriotic. Mob law must 
be resisted to the uttermost, and its present dangerous 
growth checked forthwith. Let us remember the 
downfall of Almanzor and Cordova. It is necessary to 
steer clear of mob law at all costs. We ought at once 
to begin to reconstruct instead of commencing to destroy. 

If Germany's imperious naval challenge continues 
to be made, and the strident voices grow louder, we must 
build two ships for every one. This is the only sensible 
thing to do, short of seizing the threatening Power by 
the scruff of the neck, neutralizing the danger and making 
the tormentor incapable of working evil for some cen- 
turies to come. As guardians of the world's peace, we 
should be fully justified in doing this, for our great navy 
has never been used as a scourge and a terror, but merely 
as a monitor of international security. In the old days 
Elizabethan statesmen would have saluted the mailed 
fist and the pointed sword with a thunder-clap of guns ! 
Elizabethan seamen — like our own of to-day — would 
have regarded the naval war entailed by such defensive 
action as the precious fruit of long abstinence ; they 
would have fought and won, and thus have rendered 
peace secure for coming generations. Great Britain has 
received many provocations during the last twenty 
years that would have driven a Pitt to frenzy, and led 
him to employ obsolescent British battleships for the 
purpose for which they were made. 

As the Paris DepicJie points out, "If Germany 
persists in this aggressive building, Great Britain has 
a right to treat her as she formerly treated Holland, 
France, and Spain." So long as German nature re- 
mains what it is, and so long as German opinion remains 
so openly hostile to us, there cannot be two such navies 
as ours without international disasters. 



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260 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

From her own point of view, Germany is right in 
trying to win the race, but from our position we see 
that her aspirations are too bellicose. If Great Britain 
had been in Germany's place to-day and Germany in 
Britain's ; if, in such a case, Britain had dared to rival 
her sister-nation's naval predominance and ventured 
constantly to speak of her in terms of gross disparage- 
ment, her ships would now have been at the bottom of 
the sea, and millions upon millions would have been 
saved to the Power with such resolution. 

When we see the Kaiser's subjects declining to strike 
off a single destroyer from their programmes, and pro- 
posing to spend twice as much as we do upon the war 
fleet, in proportion to the tonnage of their merchant 
marine, can we read anything but danger in their 
determination ? " There's really no knowing what 
lengths they will go to," as the tailor's assistant said 
when he measured three Guards officers for a foreign 
outfit. 

I fancy I hear the unimaginative murmuring : 

" Quoi ! vous allez combattre an roi dont la puissance 
Semble forcer le del a prendre sa defense. ..." 

But I may assure them that I am perfectly serious. 
Whether or not my thoughts constitute Majestdts- 
beleidigung, I shall utter them, and thereby speak the 
thoughts of many of my countrymen. We have been 
living too long with our heads in the clouds — it is time 
we had our eyes fixed on grim realities. 

There is a very practical word which the Germans 
are exceedingly fond of using : you may find it on the 
thousand and one prohibitions that confront the visitor 
in their country ; it expresses science and common-sense, 
and its object is to remind people that they cannot 
become a nuisance to others without suffering for their 
sins. That word is Verboten / Therefore, I say again 
that, if we would be wise, we must give Germany one 



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THE TIME TO CRT " VERBOTEN" 251 

more chance, even as the Kaiser gave Bismarck his 
ultimate opportunity when he asked him to repeal the 
Cabinet Order forbidding Ministers to have audience of 
the Emperor except in the presence of the Chancellor. 
Let us urge her to curb the energies of her press, and, 
insisting upon our right to the retention of our world- 
position, demand the withdrawal of the obvious 
challenge. Let us make it clear to her that we will 
not suffer it— that it is VERBOTEN. No British 
Conservative Government ever desired war with 
Germany, or we should have had war long ago. Our 
Radical Ministers have never dreamt of hatching a 
Machiavellian plot to force war on Germany, although 
the author of " Armageddon " considers them capable 
of such folly. No one in Britain wants war, and the 
only chance of preventing it is to be firm, and to cry 
Verboten. The pacific character we have borne for half 
a century will justify our request in the eyes of the 
world. If Germany refuses to withdraw her threats, 
then let us proceed at once to compel her adhesion 
to humanity's request, by so taxing her manufactures 
in Great Britain and the Colonies as automatically to 
stop her shipbuilding. 

To lay down two vessels to every one of hers is not 
the best way to deal with such a nation as Germany if 
Free Trade continues to be our greatest political vice. 
This course would indeed spell bankruptcy for both 
countries. No ; the true way is to compel her to cease 
uttering threats and to check her aggressive building, 
and it is precisely for use in such a grave contingency 
that the British nation has consented to maintain for 
so long such a formidable force as we at present are 
said to possess. If our battleships be not designed for 
the defence of the national honour and the maintenance 
of the integrity of the Empire, then why were they 
created ? Unless this huge navy can be utilized in 
order to avert national bankruptcy, we had better build 



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262 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

nothing stronger than sand-castles or such toy yachts 
as sail on the Serpentine. 

Teutophobia does not inspire these suggestions, but 
the outcry of men and women who are slaving day by 
day to feed the monstrous vanity of the Great. We 
cannot go on paying war taxes in time of peace if we 
are not to be allowed to protest forcefully against the 
insensate pretensions of Germany. When the Berlin 
Boersen Zeitung charged Mr. Botha with base ingratitude 
to his German sympathizers in " entering the service of 
the conquerors," and attending the Colonial Conference, 
those who can read between the lines saw only too 
clearly what Mr. Botha meant when he affirmed that 
" the position in the Transvaal would be hazardous if 
the Imperial troops were withdrawn," and in which 
quarter the German fleet is expected to wound us first. 
But we ought to set about cancelling its power to wound 
and to destroy. 

One thing, and one thing only, can deter our Premier 
from this desirable action, and that is the utter absence 
of any system of voluntary service such as alone entitles 
a nation to call itself civilized and strong. With a 
million men behind such a definite request, it would be 
at once granted. 

By all that is equitable, a Power whose ambitions have 
become dangerous to the peace of the world should 
be disarmed by its sister nations. Why should peace- 
able peoples suffer from inordinate naval and military 
expenses ? Europe owes this disarmament as a duty 
to herself. 

In regard to European peace, let not Count Goblet 
d'Alviella's words be forgotten : " The whole question 
depends upon Germany /" Great Britain, the world's 
most pacific Power, must forget these words least of 
all. Her Premier, the mouthpiece of the nation, has 
made overtures, and put forward proposals which have 
been rejected with scorn and contumely by the German 



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THE TIME TO CRT " VERBOTEN " 253 

Empire. When Prince Bulow asked in the Reichstag 
what sensible person had ever described the German 
Navy as directed against England, Herr von Vollmar, 
the Social Democrat, answered him most pertinently : 
" If all who have so described the German Navy are not 
sensible persons," he said, " then there must be few 
sensible persons in many of the parties of this House ! 
Do you suppose the English are deaf ?" 

It needed not this outburst to teach us the true 
meaning of the German answer to our Premier. Are 
we, then, to pursue the policy of Quintus Pabius Maximus 
in face of a menace that may be dealt with now at a 
thousandfold less cost than in another ten years ? 
As a writer in Vanity Fair has truly remarked, we 
should have been justified in declaring war at the 
period of the despatch of the Kriiger telegram, which 
Hohenlohe and others bowdlerized so cleverly. Prince 
Billow's venomous remarks on the subject of a harmless 
comparison between the conduct of the British and 
German armies constituted almost a casus belli. If we 
wait until the development of events in Austria makes 
interference obligatory, we may wait too long ! When 
the German Chancellor tells us that " it is impossible 
to turn the flow of the stream backwards," we must put 
our nation in arms and deal with this Power as Cromwell 
would have dealt with it. Let us answer the reports 
of her three million rifles by the volleys of three million 
more ! As John Stuart Mill says, " The sole end for 
which society is warranted in interfering with the 
liberty of action of any of their number is self -protection 
and to prevent harm to others." In self-protection, 
then, let us interfere with the intolerable aggressiveness 
of Germany ! Firmness linked with courtesy would 
probably end the strife without the firing of a single 
cannon. 

Our own safety is the first consideration, as Elizabeth 
probably said when she signed Mary the Plotter's death- 



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254 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

warrant. France and Great Britain, guarantors of the 
independence of Holland and Belgium, have a right — 
indeed, they have almost an obligation — to ask for an 
explanation of these deadly and threatening armaments 
of Germany. The responsibility for the maintenance 
of the balance of power in Europe rests on France and 
England ; and America, too, may now be classed among 
the nations desiring nothing but peace. If we remain 
silent for another decade we may be lost. During the 
next war that occurs after the attainment of its ideal 
strength the German fleet does not propose to hide 
itself at Wilhelmshaven behind a triple row of torpedoes, 
as in 1870-1871. It will not allow any other fleet to 
cruise idly outside the islet of Wangeroog. It will be 
out and about, imposing the Kaiser's will here and 
there and everywhere. Nothing peaceable can stop its 
growth save Imperial unity. If drastic action be im- 
possible, then disarmament at this moment of our 
history would appear to be madness. But is drastic 
action impossible ? Has the British lion lost his teeth % 
Is he no longer capable of dealing with those who 
threaten him ? In 1801 Great Britain faced the world 
in the throes of armed conflict with clenched teeth and 
sinews braced. In less than twenty years Napoleon's 
power was swept from the sea, and his armies were 
decimated. Is Britain too lethargic, too obese, to show 
an equal strength and daring to-day, in face of a peril 
which grows momentarily greater ? If we are never 
to have compulsory service the time for an under- 
standing is now: in another five years we shall have 
but little chance against Germany, either on land or 
sea, unless we come to our senses in the meanwhile. 



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xxvm 

BRITAIN'S CHOICE— GERMANY OR FRANCE 

Our Radicals profess to be able to apply "peaceful 
persuasion " to the enemies of this country, but if they 
attempt to wage our national struggles by means of 
trades-unions, they will not win one. Our Premier, 
when he is trying to lessen the hostility of a nation by 
preaching disarmament, puts me in mind of a man 
whom I once saw endeavouring to open his front-door 
with a cigarette. Only warships, adequate military 
force, and retaliatory tariffs will regain for us inter- 
national respect. The Battle of Trafalgar was not won 
by peaceful persuasion. Great Britain is the most 
generous nation in the world, therefore she is the most 
hated and abused. The cringing attitude adopted 
by Radicals to foreign Chancelleries has made her an 
object of derision everywhere. There is but one really 
staunch and fearless Briton in the present Cabinet and 
that is our Foreign Secretary. 

Cobden said, in his rashness, that within a decade 
of its establishment other nations would copy our 
policy of Free Imports, but the world has laughed us 
to scorn. It is only by the help of our Colonies that the 
nation has been able to get along so well under such a 
grievous burden. The gold won from the virgin lands 
of our Colonies has given us a great part of our vast riches. 
Take away our power safely to invest money in oversea 
possessions, and our trade and wealth will begin rapidly 

256 



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256 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

to diminish. The youngest Colony of all — Western 
Australia — has yielded us more than £68,000,000 of 
gold in about ten years, and even Mauritius and Wei- 
hai-Wei have entered the lists as gold-producers. It 
would take a volume to describe the immense riches 
which we have extracted from our other Colonies — 
treasure that puts the wealth of the Spanish Empire 
of the Conquistadores to shame. In South Africa, 
West Africa, every quarter of Australia, New Zealand, 
India, Canada — in almost every land the British flag 
has fluttered over have been found vast gold deposits 
which have so enriched us that disarmament on the 
score of expense seems ridiculous, especially in view 
of the enormous sums we spend municipally. 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman predicts that other 
nations will follow our example in regard to disarma- 
ment, but his prophecy may be placed in the same cate- 
gory as Cobden's soothsaying. He is riding a hobby 
whose performances are like those of Mr. Louis de 
Rougemont's turtle. Sooner or later the steed will fail 
the intrepid adventurer, and he will get a good ducking. 
No man can bestride either hobby-horses or turtles for 
long, if he does so in defiance of the laws of gravitation. 

Japan has shown us how to secure a profitable peace, 
and how to become respected, simply and solely by 
putting her army and navy into a perfect state of effi- 
ciency. Japan set the world an example of courage 
that will be an eternal light in history. She proved to us 
how necessary it is to maintain the pluck and valour of a 
nation by means of a racial ideal ; she showed a wonder- 
ing world that all that swaggers is not bold. 

To ensure peace, the only way is to maintain our arma- 
ments on a war footing in time of peace. Therefore, as 
we have no ambition to acquire land at the expense of 
others — having all the territory we need — and as we are 
now strictlyf|on|the^defensive, let us see that our bul- 
warks are as sound as the dykes of Holland. 



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BRITAIN'S CHOICE 257 

It must be remembered that our naval supremacy has 
been largely achieved by military prowess, and that it 
is now more than ever important that we should have a 
good army to back up our navy. We have never yet 
fought in European territories without allies ; but in the 
future it may be our lot to have to do so, because in 
the present temper of the world we cannot count upon 
the stability of alliances. Therefore, if ever it becomes 
necessary for us to make a great noise, we must see 
that our drums are screwed up to the right key. Better 
play the game of Brer Fox than bark furiously with 
uncertain teeth. 

In battle practice our Channel Fleet must move up 
from the seventh position to the high place of merit now 
occupied by the Second Cruiser Squadron. The average 
points obtained by the entire British Fleet in 1906 were 
181-7, compared with 98-4 in 1905. This is satisfactory, 
but we should like to see the Channel and North Sea 
Fleets excelling all the others in accuracy of fire. And, 
above all, we must have more fighting men for these 
fleets. 

Naturally, to peaceable Britons the growth of arma- 
ments appears terrible, but apparently it is inevitable. 
Those militant Powers who are most aggressive ought to 
take the lead in disarmament, and at present no emula- 
tion of our example may be expected from them. Let 
Germany follow our Premier's lead, and we will cap her 
reductions with further ones. Alas ! in Berlin the notion 
of national duty is vastly different from our Premier's. 
Unwavering, energetic, and unyielding to sentiment, 
German patriotism shrinks from no self-sacrifice with 
great prizes in view, and the growth of armaments is 
not terrifying to the Teuton. 

In the new Council for Imperial Defence let the voice 
of India be heard, and the voices of all our Crown as 
well as self-governing Colonies. Then, perhaps, we may 
find that the spirit of self-sacrifice is still alive in our 

17 



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258 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

race, and that the four letters DUTY spell duty, not 
dishonour. Let our kith and kin also have a word in 
this question of expenditure; perhaps we may find 
them willing to help us to bear the burden. Mean- 
while we must cease to strike off odd ships from our 
naval programmes that count in armament as two of 
the biggest battleships already afloat, remembering that 
a strong British fleet is the best safeguard against 
European embroilments. Power and might cannot be 
procured at the Bon March6. 

The country should remember that Lord Randolph 
Churchill once pressingly advised reductions in the 
money spent on our army and navy, and directly after 
he had given expression to his ideas, the Continent more 
than once was on the point of war. Moreover, the Boer 
campaign showed us the essential unsoundness of mili- 
tary ' economies.' It is not a state of preparedness, but 
a condition of unpreparedness, that invites ultimatums. 
A British reserve of a million men would probably stop 
much of Germany's aggressive ship-building, and give 
us peace for a century. Once we fix on a national 
reserve of large dimensions, and become determined to 
have it, we are safe. 

As Lord Roberts has wisely said, " The Empire that 
cannot defend its own territories must perish." There- 
fore, when we see the Kaiser's fleet increased by sudden 
leaps — whenever, for purposes of statecraft, the relations 
between Great Britain and Germany, are made to appear 
strained — it behoves us to be watchful ; and when we 
know, from the mouths of responsible men of all classes 
in Germany, that these increases are intended to counter- 
balance and destroy our naval power, we cannot include 
the challenger within the circle of our national friend- 
ships. 

All are not fools who flatter. The path recently 
trodden by Mr. Haldane and by Mr. Winston Churchill 
in all the bravery of the uniform of the Oxfordshire 



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BRITAIN'S CHOICE 269 

Hussars, was and is a most slippery and dangerous one ; 
it leads right down to a cliff, similar to that over which 
the Gadarene swine precipitated themselves. Mr. 
McKenna is also approaching the steep slope, and he 
ought to be warned by means of those immortal words 
from the French version of " Hamlet " — " Monsieur 
Macbeth, prenez garde de Monsieur Macduff !" Go and 
look at Briton Riviere's picture in the Tate Gallery, and 
you will see how these three men and the people of 
Great Britain appeared to their unbiassed friends in 
the Colonies last year. 

There can be no real amity between Britain and Ger- 
many so long as the Kaiser demands more and more 
money for his navy. The Yorkshire Choir may sing a 
thousand peaceful ditties to Wilhelm II., but on the one 
point where his yielding would mean genuine friendship 
his heart will remain even as flint. The Yorkshire Choir 
will never do to the Emperor what David did to Saul. 
Confronted by a pro-German Pope, a distracted Russia, 
a menacing condition of affairs in the East, and these 
constant manifestations of the restless ambitions of the 
Kaiser, surely British statesmen should ever take 
political steps which are not likely to hurt the feelings 
of France. 

There is a certain pretty flower of the primrose tribe 
called the Primula obconica. Not long ago a somewhat 
weak old lady, stricken with influenza, stooped to sniff 
one of these scentless though otherwise attractive 
plants, and, *n doing so, accidentally scratched the 
inflamed mucous membrane of her nose. Acute in- 
flammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue set in, 
and she died of blood-poisoning. The friendship offered 
to Britannia by the German editors, by Germania to our 
press, and by the Kaiser to our Ministers, is an equally 
pretty flower, but Britannia must be very careful not 
to scratch her nose in endeavouring to discover its scent 
and value. 

17—2 



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260 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Let us ask ourselves three very important questions : 
If some sudden calamity befell this nation — for instance, 
suppose that the more implacable Boers raised the Vier- 
kleur again — could we count upon Germany's sym- 
pathy ? 

If several important Indian States broke into open 
rebellion, and China simultaneously asked us to vacate 
Hong Kong, could we rely upon the German editors to 
support our cause ? 

If Great Britain and the United States came into col- 
lision over some Canadian question, should we be safe 
in counting upon the Kaiser's support ? 

In answering these questions, we have only our past 
experience to guide us. In this great world of make- 
believe there is but one true test of sincerity and of 
friendship, and this test is called misfortune. When 
misfortune befell us in 1899, Germany's voice was loud 
in favour of our enemies, and her heart was with them. 
We may be forgiven, therefore, if we doubt the sincerity 
of her present professions of amity, and of the loyalty of 
her friendship ; and we may also be forgiven when we 
trust no one whom we doubt. Let us read once more a 
little luminous extract from the Neue PdUtisch Kor- 
respondenz, a Berlin newspaper which is frequently 
" officially inspired." This was published on March 8, 
1907: 

" England is a Colossus, with feet of clay. She will 
do well not to provoke too heatedly the world-historic 
decision as to whom supremacy in Europe belongs. 
She has brusquely repelled the friendship offered by 
Germany with more enthusiasm than statesmanlike 
wisdom, and has spun around us a diplomatic net 
which already unpleasantly hampers the freedom of our 
movements. 

"If she continues in this course the inclination will 
some day possess us to tear this artificial net ruthlessly 
to pieces, before we are hemmed in so tightly that we 



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BRITAIN'S CHOICE 261 

cannot move. Even the Entente Cordiale need have no 
terrors for us. 

" If Prance wishes to pull the chestnuts out of the 
fire for England, we shall undertake to make the fire 
plentifully hot. 

" Germany has at present 5,500,000 soldiers, who are 
available, not on paper, but actually. The French 
Army, through monarchical-clerical agitation on the 
one hand and Republican-Socialistic machinations on 
the other, has become perceptibly disorganized. A 
country in which an Andr6 at the War Ministry and a 
Pelletan at the Admiralty are tolerated is not exactly 
terrible as a war Power. The field army which Germany 
will place in service on the first day of mobilization will 
be sufficient to crush France, even if a part of it is de- 
tached for operations against England. 

" We wish sincerely to live in peace with France and 
England, but that can only be if England henceforth 
refrains from a diplomatic policy which sooner or later 
must lead to war — a war which, as we are firmly con- 
vinced, will be the beginning of the end for the British 
Empire." 

Who could now hesitate between Germany and France ? 
In international affairs, discrimination is a fine quality to 
display. Even the slug discriminates between the 
delphinium and the aconite. 

We have already made our choice. We have decided 
that the independence of Holland and Belgium are 
essential to European civilization, and that their inde- 
pendence can be secured only by a close understanding 
with France. We have been as slow as slugs in arriving 
at a true appreciation of the value of France's friendship, 
but we have at last become conscious of her worth. 
The French may effuse more than the Germans, but their 
sentiments are sincere. It makes no difference to their 
courage if they do spell hero with an extra 8. They are 
the bravest people in the world. A little demonstrative- 



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262 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

ness in friendship is particularly agreeable to a nation 
like ours, that has been so often disillusionized. 

If we choose to form a Military Convention with 
France, we shall not ask the Berlin Post for permission. 
The leading Conservative organ of Germany may address 
its advice where it will be welcomed. If Germans choose 
to regard an Anglo-French Military Convention as an 
offensive, unfriendly act towards their country, we really 
cannot do more than shrug our shoulders and murmur, 
* ' What about your proposed alliance with Turkey, 
your already existing Triplice, or your Bismarckian 
system of insurances and reinsurances ? And what 
about Herr Bassermann's speech in the Reichstag, 
recalling the idyllic days of German policy, when Prince 
Bismarck helped to keep England and France at daggers 
drawn in the Mediterranean, England and Russia at the 
point of war in Asia, and Austria and Russia in antago- 
nism in the Balkans ?" 

The Anglo-French Convention is already concluded. 
It is signed and sealed in the hearts of Frenchmen and 
Britons, who are sick to death of clamorous German 
ambition, and the eternal cry of " sharp swords " and 
" mailed fists." There is no need for political con- 
secration and Parliamentary approbation. As the 
Eclair truly says, " The work is accomplished." 

If the legions of the Kaiser should throw themselves 
against France, the shock of the encounter would cause 
such vibrations in Great Britain that our sympathies 
would leap into instant activity. With a navy in first- 
class condition, buttressed by a proper system of military 
service, our territory would not be affected, even to 
the extent of a millimetre. Only treachery could injure 
us. The political earthquake would not move one 
particle of the solid rock of our insular stability. Even 
as a sharp hammer blow on a floor usually causes any 
small round object to leap into the air, so would our 
sympathy spring into generous and virile being through 



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BRITAIN'S CHOICE 263 

the velocity of the vibrations in the corporate body of 
Civilization. 

Even now, in comparatively quiet times, those who 
have our Imperial interests most at heart cannot view 
the shearing of a single crank-head, or the wrecking of an 
occasional cylinder in the smallest French destroyer, 
without misgiving and sorrow. The extraordinary 
catastrophe on the Una — occurring not so long after our 
own Woolwich explosion and our Portsmouth fire — 
filled us with genuine regret, and made us eager to dis- 
cover the cause of all these disasters ; but the firing of 
Toulon Arsenal by incendiaries, for the fifth time 
within a few months, has made British hearts throb 
with a suffocating sense of sympathy. A strong French 
Navy is as necessary as a powerful British fleet, in order 
to ensure respect for our entente, which is indispensable 
to the cause of international peace. 

Prince von Badolin may give Paris the most elegant 
diplomatic assurances that the clouds which darkened 
the horizon of 1906 have for ever disappeared, but British 
observers will attach more importance to these ambassa- 
dorial utterances when the German newspapers write of 
probable land and naval wars less luminously, and cease 
from publishing cowardly taunts such as that of the 
Berliner Zeitung when it stated that " the French do 
not desire another taste of the furor Teutonicus" 



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XXIX 

THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 

Have you ever reflected upon the anomaly presented by 
our greater Colonies ? All of them have tariffs of their 
own. India can scarcely be called a Colony, but she, 
too, would have a tariff to-morrow did we not put a 
brake upon her progress by a veto which is positively 
baneful to the British Raj. The natives of that country 
invariably seize the opportunity presented by a weak 
Liberal Government to indulge in orgies of sedition, but 
behind their imaginary grievances there are undoubtedly 
many real evils, of which the tariff question is a fair 
example. 

Free imports in this country and in India mean fiscal 
separation from the rest of the British Empire, and, if 
continued long enough, will mean political separation. 
They preclude the possibility of federation. We may 
liken Great Britain to an apple-tree which has got its tap- 
root right down into the clay subsoil of this valueless 
policy. As the top of the tree shows signs of withering, 
it is necessary that we should do some root-pruning. 
There is every imaginable reason for the abandonment of 
this outworn policy of Cobden's ; but if there was none 
other, one might be found in the pressing need for the 
replacement of the annual six millions which we derive 
from the opium revenue in India by six millions obtained 
in a cleaner manner. 

How is it that our Colonies adopt protective tariffs, 
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THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 265 

ruled as they are by men trained in British habits of 
thought ? When we ask Free-Traders this question, 
their stock reply is : " Oh, in such countries protective 
duties may be levied; they are no doubt good for a 
young Colony." My contention is that when the 
majority of successful trading nations maintain tariffs 
against us, it is absolutely essential that we should re- 
taliate, simply because the success of our rivals is built 
upon our own failure. If tariffs are specially good for a 
young Colony, they must also be good for the parent 
country. If the doctrines of Free Trade be sound, the 
young Colonies ought to find it most advantageous to 
buy in the cheapest and sell in the dearest market ; 
but evidently in their mouths the Cobdenite policy tastes 
like sour gooseberries. 

" The essential feature of the modern industrial battle, 
from our point of view, is that Britain, which for so long 
held an unquestioned supremacy in nearly all depart- 
ments of industry, has of late years been run close, if 
not indeed outstripped, by her younger rivals, Germany 
and the United States. It behoves us to find out how 
this has happened, as a precedent condition towards 
holding our own, if not resuming our old pride of place." 

This pathetic admission on the part of the Free Trade 
Spectator indicates that considerable uneasiness is felt 
in Cobdenite circles as to the position of Free Trade in 
the altered conditions of this century. I can promise 
Mr. Strachey that he will find, at the end of his re- 
searches, that one thing, and one thing only, is responsible 
for our loss of place and power — namely, our unique 
and illogical Free Trade. 

Germany, however, is not a young Colony ; she con- 
tinues to uphold her tariff against the world, and to 
thrive exceedingly. When she abolished the system of 
free imports — to which our political Sangrados still 
cling with all the obstinacy of the old-time bleeders — 
and instituted a sane and sound policy of Imperial 



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266 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

finance, the newly-founded Empire began at once 
to grow strong. As Prince Hohenlohe remarks in his 
"Memoirs," "When the Empire adopted a tariff the 
Empire got money and the Empire could live." Ger- 
many now shows about as much disposition to adopt 
Free Trade as to follow our lead in disarmament. I 
know University Professors of Political Economy who 
are incredulous about this indisputable Teutonic pros- 
perity, but it is a tremendous and telling fact. The 
incredulity of learned men has been always noteworthy. 
Galileo was deemed an impostor and a criminal by the 
highest intellects of his age ; the superb Phidias, one of 
the world's demigods, was thrust into a prison to die 
by so-called statesmen, because of a supposed impiety ; 
whilst, less than sixty years ago, when Rebmann, the 
missionary, brought the first news of a glacier world 
under the equatorial sun of Africa, the erudite declared 
that his statements were preposterous, and that he was 
drawing entirely upon his imagination. Coming down 
to our own day, we may remind ourselves that the 
learned among mechanicians long asserted that turbines 
were far behind reciprocating engines in manoeuvring 
power ; and even such a practical man as the late Sir 
Charles Tennant laughed at the idea of a telephone long 
after the instrument was in almost every house in Stock- 
holm. So that we see how great truths are received in- 
credulously, whilst individuals of the stamp of George 
Psalmanazar — one of the greatest purveyors of false- 
hood — can delude men of the high intelligence of Samuel 
Johnson and the whole of English society. We would 
wager a great deal on the truth of the " Statistisches 
Jahrbuch fur das Deutsche Reich," whose 1906 issue not 
only gives the important German figures for 1905, but 
also such corresponding international compilations as 
show Germany's world-position at a glance. This 
publication has been rightly said to be superior to our 
own " Statistical Abstract," 



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THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 267 

These latest figures only seem to confirm what Pair- 
Traders have long pointed out. Although only a genera- 
tion back France had the largest population of the 
civilized European States, Germany is now by far the 
most populous State in Europe, excluding Russia. In 
the last twenty-five years her imports have increased 
125 per cent., and her exports 78 per cent. ; this shows 
a rapid advance towards the first position in the world 
of commerce. She is most certainly waxing stronger 
year by year ; whereas if her Zollverein was really 
bad policy, she would be annually losing ground, because 
there has been more than time to prove the utility of 
this Teutonic wall of tariffs since it was first erected 
against the rest of the world. 

The Kaiser's splendid aulte du moi is based upon a 
glorious prosperity which has rendered impotent 
almost all the forces of German Socialism. Even the 
most illiterate workmen have at last come to see that 
high wages are guaranteed by their tariff, and that their 
country, free from the fear of unemployment, is ad- 
vancing with swift steps towards a condition of wealth, 
comfort, and prosperity, that will make Germany the 
first nation in the world. It is scarcely likely that the 
clever German — so admittedly our superior in almost 
every kind of technical training — has blundered in the 
question of import duties. His steady and ordered 
progression, based on organic unity, has gone forward 
on such lines of obvious development that we cannot 
think lightly of his fiscal policy. He knows that taxa- 
tion of the foreigner means to him money in the savings 
bank and constant work, whilst in Britain he sees that 
under Free Trade " wealth has been dammed within 
the containing walls of a few great fortunes " — if one 
may be allowed to quote from the Radical Nation. 

After the war of 1870-71 — which was paid for by 
France, leaving Germany with a clean slate— Bismarck, 
one of the greatest political geniuses, abandoned with 



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268 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

open eyes the free importing system which had been Ger- 
many's up to that time. When he broke away from 
the thraldom of Free Trade, pessimists prophesied that 
German shipping and the Hanse towns would be ruined ; 
but they have prospered at a breathless pace, and we 
now find that Germany affords the most striking 
example of the profitable policy of importing raw 
material instead of finished goods. The growth in her 
shipping proves her prosperity, and, enjoying the double 
advantage of the tariff in her own sphere and the open 
market in ours, she is infinitely greater now than she 
was under Free Trade. 

Whether or not she has flourished since Sedan is a 
question which may be left to the impartial. Anyone 
who has travelled in Europe during the last thirty years 
knows that German tourists were very rare before 
Bismarck founded the Zollverein ; now, enriched and 
made bold by every possible kind of success, the German 
tourist is ubiquitous — especially in Italy, a country 
which is becoming a sort of second home to Teutons. 
The German Hausfrau is now emancipirt, like her 
English cousin, and, having money to spend, she leaves 
the gdteau and potato-salad behind her, and fares forth 
to browse on the hills of Rome. 

This indication of prosperity is only one of many, 
and Germany's ablest economic thinkers — indeed, all 
the ablest economic thinkers in the world — thoroughly 
approve her action in abolishing a ruinous system of 
Free Imports, as they thoroughly endorse the policy of 
Mr. Chamberlain. 

Ask any unbiassed Austrian, Dutchman, Swiss — or 
even Hungarian — what he thinks of the Zollverein, 
and he will tell you that to-day the German Empire 
stands higher in every respect — and especially in regard 
to commerce — than Great Britain and France. Ask 
any German what he thinks of Free Trade, and he will 
answer " Kwatsch !" If commerce makes a nation great, 



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THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 269 

then Germany will soon be unapproachable. During 
the last fifteen years, Germany's commerce has in- 
creased out of all proportion to the growth of British 
trade, and her developments are really most imposing. 

The British workman refuses to stand the risk of 
sacrificing even a farthing a week to promote closer 
trade relations with the great States that form our 
Empire ; yet he cheerfully submits to be taxed a great 
deal more on tea, coffee, sugar, dried fruit, and cocoa — 
five things which are necessities coming from different 
parts of our own Empire — even when he is told that the 
need for taxing these articles of food would disappear 
under a proper system of preference. The £6,814,908 
which we now raise on tea, the £6,177,953 on sugar, and 
the £400,000 which we levy on dried fruit, might be got 
from the foreigners, to our immediate profit and ad- 
vantage. But the German workman has proved him- 
self capable of making infinitely greater sacrifices for 
what is apparently an infinitely smaller object. But 
the object is greater than it appears, and the German 
workman knows very well what the big national army 
and navy may eventually bring him to supplement the 
riches and comfort which have been vouchsafed to him 
by Protection. 

Do not let us wilfully misread fact and history. Let 
us remember Seeley's dictum, " Politics without history 
has no root." The British artisan is invited to read 
for himself the stories of Empires shattered by internal 
follies. The habit of mind that these melancholy 
accounts will engender may perhaps lead him seriously 
to ask himself how it really comes about that there 
are three unhappy workless men in England to one in 
Germany. If he cannot supply himself with an answer, 
there are those who can. 

The development of patriotism in Germany has 
brought about her wonderful trade development. The 
German patriotism, that provides in its Navy Estimates 



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270 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

considerable sums of prize-money for gun and torpedo 
practice, rifle-shooting, and range-firing, is truly 
national, not local, as is ours. It is the product of a 
system of education which makes history so interesting 
as to engender many virtues : it is one of the inevitable 
consequences of the use of a symbol in youth — this 
symbol being the rifle, which stands for the Fatherland. 
The minds of infants and adolescents alike are retentive 
enough when they are filled with luminous facts : these 
facts beget another light, which pierces far into the future ! 
Patriotism, therefore, being what it is in Germany, the 
total number of unemployed in the Fatherland amounts 
to not more than a third of the out-of-works in this 
country, and despite the growing frequency of strikes, 
this number is rapidly lessening. Judging from some 
official returns published in a quite recent issue of the 
ReichsarbeiUblaU, the percentage of the Unemployed 
of most of the German trade-unions amounts, on an 
average, to scarcely over 1*4 per cent. With us 
pauperism is ever increasing ; in Germany it is declining. 
If this saving of immense sums, which a country like 
ours spends on paupers, be . a necessary result of 
agrarian majorities outvoting industrial democracy, we 
would welcome even dearer bread — if it be possible 
justly to forecast such a thing as a result of Fair Trade — 
for the sake of an immeasurably greater gain. But, 
even with the dearer bread, the workman would have 
constant and higher wages to pay for it withal, and thus 
he would be greatly the gainer by a changed fiscal 
policy. 

The British workman would also do well to enquire 
from his Liberal and Radical friends — when they are 
speaking on political platforms — if they can explain 
why there should be such a disproportion of unem- 
ployment in this country as contrasted with Germany, 
and why great shipments of manufactured goods should 
be allowed to enter Britain, to the tune of £140,000,000 



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THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 271 

a year, without paying any form of taxes whatever ; 
furthermore, why £50,000,000 of these imports should 
be allowed to enter duty free, when they are produced 
by an avowed enemy, whose successful progress our 
stupid fiscal policy has done its best to promote. As 
Professor Bouse says, " Poetry is the only thing the 
Germans do not dump in this country. If there were 
any money in it, they would have opened a manufactory 
long ago, and imitated Shakespearean trade-marks !" 

Prejudice exists against the triumph of German 
industry only because its effects here are fatal to our 
own trade, and because the profits thereon are ostensibly 
being used to bring about our national ruin. German 
exports to the British Empire are twice as large as our 
own exports to any single market in the world ! It is by 
allowing their free entrance into the United Kingdom 
and elsewhere that the British nation has become a 
whetstone which sharpens the knife and stands still 
itself, or the grindstone that is putting a keener edge 
on the proverbial sharp Imperial sword. 

Mr. Chamberlain has pointed out that the addition 
of £100,000,000 to our foreign trade would do wonders 
in regard to solving the question of unemployment. 
At any rate, the Kidderminster carpet-weaver, the 
Birmingham gun-maker, the Staffordshire potter, the 
Coventry throwster, the steel-rail maker of South 
Shields, and the Halifax weaver would see their ruined 
industries revive, and the men discharged from Woolwich 
Arsenal in order to save money for old-age pensions of 
Is. 3d. per week might not be under the necessity of 
migrating to Ems. When one sees that in Germany 
the proportion of unemployed is about one-third or 
one-fourth what it is here, we wonder how long it will 
take the British workman to understand the reason ! 

Verily the traditions of obstinacy require much un- 
learning ! A Radical poet once said to the German 
Chancellor, " My dear Bulow, your want of prejudice 



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272 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

is appalling. This is your misfortune and will be your 
bane, since in Germany it is indispensable to have 
prejudices." That poet was entirely wrong, because 
Prince von Billow shares his countrymen's deep-seated 
prejudices to the full ; but these German failings are 
pliant and ductile, ours are rigid and unyielding. 

Those windbags who represent the personification of 
all Labour ideals profess a spirit of what they are 
pleased to call anti-militarism, and they claim that 
the efficiency of national armaments tends to create 
war and to promote a warlike spirit in humanity. This 
is indeed " the worm's-eye " view of things ! But 
the perversity of this unsound doctrine could not be 
more strikingly illustrated than by the spectacle pre- 
sented by military Germany, where the fostering of 
effective patriotism has resulted in a strenuous disci- 
plinary habit of mind, which is responsible for some of 
the greatest commercial triumphs of the age ; for in 
the Fatherland "the burden of bloated armaments" 
is found to be very far from unendurable ! 

If only we could get men like Mr. D. C. Cummings, 
the energetic secretary of the Boilermakers' and Steel 
Shipbuilders' Union, to realize such cardinal facts as 
this ; if only we could get the sheer strength of brain 
which assembles occasionally at Lord Glenesk's to beat 
upon the intelligences of working people in a sort of 
brilliant focus, Labour, which has the situation more 
or less in its own hands, might fall into line with Im- 
perialism, and vote for taxing the foreigner even as he 
taxes us. Labour cries, " Let us get back to the land," 
forgetting that the desired freeholds are taxed by 
Cobdenites to the tune of 12s. an acre, and that the 
produce of these ideal farms would compete with that 
of land taxed at about 6d. per acre. There is no logic 
in the Labour party, and I fear the magnificent plate 
looking-glass that panels the walls of that fine white 
house in Piccadilly will not for a long time reflect the 



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THE INCREDULITY OF THE WISE 273 

smiling faces of those who have won over a stiff-necked 
class to the recognition of Imperial necessities ! 

Such progressive money-wasters as those who are 
demanding, in the municipality of St. Pancras, a grant 
of free swimming instructors, free soap, free towels, 
free costumes, and free electric hair-curlers, have little 
concern with either the past or the future. They live 
in the present only ; they wish to be comfortable them- 
selves, and they care nothing about their children's 
patrimony. That, too, in their opinion, will probably 
evolve from the rates ! Patriotism means nothing to 
them — nay, even less than nothing ! Inevitably as the 
coming of to-morrow's sun, the miserable egoism and 
party dissensions which now agitate their minds will 
result in national disasters. Ah ! if we could but get 
them to recognize how petty differences and puerile 
jealousies have injured the position and prospects of 
German Socialism during the last few years, we might 
possibly hope for the eventual establishment of a 
Patriotic Party entirely independent of all political and 
social trammels ! 

Our markets are flooded with the peaceful products 
of warlike nations. Foreign manufactured articles are 
alien labour in concrete form, and, for the most part, 
they might very well be made in Great Britain. Yet no 
preference is given to the British workman, although 
he may be at the point of starvation. Is it surprising, 
then, that the thinkers of our nation are beginning to 
discover what it is that oppresses Britain ? She is 
weighed down by a load that is greater than she can 
bear. A tree does not generally thrive very long when 
a pumpkin vine is trained to embrace it year after year, 
to bring forth a crop of twenty-pound pumpkins, all 
dependent upon it. 



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XXX 

M. YVES GUYOT AND HIS MISCONCEPTIONS 

A short time ago M. Yves Guyot traced the incidence 
of Protection in Prance during the last century, and 
declared that Napoleon's object in carrying out the 
treaty of 1860 was to make it " a fortress against the 
Protectionists." After dealing with some of the more 
recent French tariffs, he pointed to the curious fact that 
95 per cent, of the French people can be induced to 
support Protectionist measures in the interest of the 
other 5 per cent., who are for the most part their adver- 
saries. " Protection," he said, " was mainly deception, 
and comparable only to old wives' medicines." 

Anything more ludicrous than this cannot well be 
conceived, because no one can imagine a country richer 
or more prosperous than France. Let me give you an 
extract from Truth on this very point : " A people who, 
in spite of the Panama losses and the engulfing of ten 
milliards in Russian industries, have at this moment the 
incredibly great sum of four milliards three hundred and 
seventy-eight millions of francs in the savings banks of 
Paris and the provinces" And .remember, please, that 
a milliard is a thousand million francs ! 

But what about Germany ? In the fifteen years 
covered by the latest available statistics the deposits in the 
Prussian savings banks have risen from £164,000,000 to 
£388,000,000, thus throwing into the shade the advance 
in England, which has only been from £111,000,000 to 

274 



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Y VES OUYOT AND HIS MISCONCEPTIONS 275 

£200,000,000. Ah ! if only we had an orator of Mr. 
Gladstone's energy and fire to go into the country and 
preach on this text alone, the day of the Betaliationists 
would come before next Christmas ! This sum of 
£388,000,000 standing in Prussian savings banks pro- 
vides us with, a weapon that is the sharpest ever placed 
in the hands of any political fighters. 

France is practically the greatest financial Power 
to-day. Owing to her confidence in the ultimate re- 
generation of Russia, a colossal monetary catastrophe 
was averted at the time of the fall of Mukden. Should 
anything happen to shake this feeling of confidence, 
Paris would be swept by a panic, which would have far- 
reaching effects. If the fears of the French people ran 
away with them, London financiers would require a 
Parsons'-turbine turn of speed to catch up to them and 
allay their apprehensions. 

If Paris started to sell heavily, our market would be 
instantly affected ; every speculative section in the 
House would respond to the adverse influence, with a 
greater or less severity in proportion as the bull posi- 
tion happened to be more or less extended. In its 
sensitiveness the London Stock Exchange reminds one 
of the bolometer, invented by the late Professor Langley, 
an instrument which is said to be sensible to the heat of 
a candle one and a half miles away. The least whisper 
of Bourse panic puts Capel Court in a deadly flutter. 
While stocks in which there is an international market 
would doubtless bear the brunt of any real Russian 
panic, no speculative market could escape the influence 
of the general contraction in credit which would follow. 

So that — this year, at least — by reason of her vast 
riches, we find France a more important arbitress than 
Great Britain. Not only is she the richest country in 
the world proportionately to the number of her citizens, 
but she is also the most influential to-day. At the end 
of last year the Bank of France held a gold reserve of 

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276 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

£116,000,000, whilst the Bank of England could show 
only £28,000,000. This is a truth more eloquent than 
pages of argument. Owing to her gold reserve, France 
is in a position to lend money to the enterprising German 
to enable him to foster businesses which are ruining cer- 
tain trades in Great Britain. German borrowers offer 
good terms on first-class security, and they get what they 
want in Prance. In this way French gold is employed to 
the detriment of both French and British interests, for 
anything which strengthens German power is inimical 
to France, and at the same time prejudicial to us, in 
view of the pronounced German hostility to all things 
British. It is said that the French financiers do not 
cultivate business relations with England because our 
commercial and economic system is unintelligible to 
them, and, moreover, its complexity constitutes an 
insuperable barrier to more intimate relations. 

Mr. Chamberlain's detractors have made capital out 
of the fact that the French mercantile marine has de- 
clined, despite the grant of bounties that have been 
gradually raised from 1881 until 1904. They say that 
it is Protection that has sapped the French carrying 
trade, since the heavy modern French Protective tariff 
was first imposed in 1881, to be considerably raised 
again in 1892. Nevertheless, with equally high Pro- 
tective tariffs, Germany and America are increasing 
their mercantile marine, and France remains practically 
the richest country in the world. What is lost in one 
way is obviously gained in another. 

Is it necessary to say more ? Let M. Yves Guyot 
continue to write amusing books like " La Comeclie Pro- 
tectioniste "; they add immensely to the gaiety of 
nations. A subject so romantic is never less interest- 
ing when approached by a new enthusiasm. Free- 
Traders have a great deal of leeway to make up, especi- 
ally now that Socialism is scaring away British capital 
into the New World, where greater security and a better 



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YVES GUYOT AND HIS MISCONCEPTIONS 277 

rate of interest may be obtained under the Protective 
system. 

Meanwhile French exports in motor-cars are pro- 
gressing comfortably. In 1903 they totalled £2,033,080 ; 
in 1904, £2,852,080; for 1905 about £3,700,000; and 
for 1906 a still larger sum. Great Britain is said to 
take about half of these exports, instead of producing all 
her cars herself. With a dangerous Democracy frighten- 
ing investors, her own motor industry has to be largely 
financed by Germans, who also find the money for 
opening up new Welsh coalfields. The London County 
Council tramway trucks are made in the U.S., five- 
sixths of the motor-omnibuses in our capital are made 
on the Continent; 4,000 red cabs are being built in 
France for London alone ; the carriages of the Under- 
ground are made in Hungary ; and the motors for the 
new electric trains on the L.B. and S.C.R. will be Ger- 
man. If this sort of thing goes on, Dr. Cunningham 
will soon require to issue another edition of his " Growth 
of English Industry and Commerce in Modern Times," 
and his new matter will not be altogether agreeable 
reading. 

The Protectionist comddie is played in France with 
6clat and to the profit of the players. In Great Britain 
we act a farce that will soon lapse into tragedy. Any- 
one who visited the recent Colonial Exhibition at Mar- 
seilles and saw a " Greater France " much larger in 
extent than Europe, symbolized in buildings copied 
from originals in Madagascar, Cochin-China, Tonquin, 
the Congo, Algeria, Tunis, and many other Colonies, 
must have been struck by the extent and range of our 
neighbour's oversea power. The fifty palaces full of 
colonial products, each representing an enormous terri- 
tory, symbolized a consolidation of foreign possessions, 
the creation of the last thirty-seven years ; they stood 
for an annual export and import trade of almost eighty 
millions sterling, the greater part of which is done 



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278 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

directly with the French Republic. France, the most 
practical modern colonial Power, has chosen to give her 
merchants and manufacturers, her professional men, 
artisans, and agriculturists, the benefit of the trade to 
be done with her great dependencies, for whose security 
all her children cheerfully perform military and naval 
service and willingly tax themselves. Thus she becomes 
the richest country in the world. 

The fierce competition of Germany and America 
would be less felt by us in all the markets of the globe 
if we could but consolidate our Empire in some such way 
as that proposed by Mr. Chamberlain ; for the profits 
that are being made by our rivals in our Colonies and 
in our home market are a cumulative stimulus to their 
activities : how otherwise could we account for the fact 
that the total Prussian income has doubled between 
1890 and 1905, while in England it has increased only 
50 per cent.? Both Germany and the United States 
have enjoyed greater material prosperity than Britain, 
even during the boom year of 1906, for the present 
business activity is merely temporary, and it appears 
to have affected all countries. The increase of 10 per 
cent, in the import and export trade of the United 
Kingdom in 1906 over 1905, as set out in the Board of 
Trade Returns, compares with the following estimated 
percentage increase in the case of other countries : 
Germany, 12 J per cent. ; the United States, 11 per cent. ; 
and Prance, 7 per cent. ; so that it is evident we are not 
keeping pace with our competitors even in times of 
boom. If the doctrine of Free Trade were sound, these 
rival commercial countries ought to be the more im- 
poverished the more we are prosperous. 

It is a pitiful commentary on the state of British 
trade and the energy of British commercial agents that 
there should be any necessity for such a society as the 
British Exporters' Association, which seems to have 
succeeded in galvanizing our traders into some recog- 



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YVES OUYOT AND HIS MISCONCEPTIONS 279 

nition of the perils by which they are surrounded. The 
Duke of Abercorn, who is president of this patriotic 
association, is to be congratulated. But the most 
terrible commentary on the failure of our Free Trade 
system is not the growing prosperity of all our Pro- 
tectionist rivals, but the appalling growth of our 
pauperism, and the enormous and cumulatively in- 
creasing cost of pauper administration. We have spent 
in twenty-five years more than £342,000,000 in the 
relief of paupers. Every idle man means loss to the 
nation, inasmuch as his energy is wasted and his mainte- 
nance falls on others. 

The burden of poor rates is becoming absolutely in- 
tolerable, and is sapping our national vitality. It has 
been truthfully described as " the plague-spot of Eng- 
land." It is a cancer that will inevitably kill all the 
prosperity of the country unless it soon be extirpated 
by the surgery of Protectionists. If we assisted our 
poor to emigrate we should be pursuing the wisest 
policy short of protecting our industries. If anyone 
will take the trouble to compare the cost of the mainte- 
nance of the poor in 1905 with the annual expenditure 
in any year prior to the abolition of the Corn Laws, he 
will find that, after making every allowance for the 
proportionate growth of population, a tremendous and 
almost terrifying balance will be written against the 
Free Trade year. Perhaps Mr. Haldane had these facts 
in mind when he expressed certain doubts as to the 
universal truth of the Free Trade theory in his recent 
address to the International Economic Congress. As 
one of our greatest journalists has pithily said : " If 
the Free Trade theory is not universally true, it loses 
all its scientific value." 

Cobden was sure that the pressure of British compe- 
tition, fed by the free entrance of commodities which 
Great Britain does not herself produce, would gradually 
force Free Trade upon all the other manufacturing 



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I 

V 280 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

t 

nations. He aimed at equalization of taxation through 
his policy. But British taxes have not been equalized 
by the Free Trade system, nor does our continued hold 
upon it lessen the dangerous competition of other 
< countries. If Cobden were alive to-day and could see 

the trade returns of Germany and America, and the 
growing magnitude of the sums annually spent upon 
pauperism, he would be the first to clamour for a Pro- 
i tective tariff in Great Britain. 

■4" 



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XXXI 

IMPERIAL UNITY ON TRADES-UNION LINE 

Nowadays very few people read serious books. Every 
class in Great Britain mainly contents itself with 
ephemeral literature. I believe that if Mr. Carnegie 
were to give an " Encyclopaedia Britannica " to every 
British working man, one-third of the recipients would 
never open the volumes, one - third might casually 
look at the pictures, and the other third might con- 
ceivably be induced occasionally to consult the numerous 
tomes. William Jackson, the Hull shipowner and 
Member of Parliament, when a boy, and working fifteen 
hours a day in a shipyard, manifested such a desire for 
learning as thoroughly to read the vast work from 
A to Z. How many artisans could now be induced to 
perform this feat ? 

If those who vote could be coaxed to use our free 
libraries a little more, they might possibly learn what 
constitutes the real wealth of the British Empire, and 
to give credit where credit is due. 

There is a certain matter that is always disregarded — 
or shall we say wilfully ignored ? — by Radical states- 
men, and that is the source of British riches. The 
wealth and the luxury, which are so paraded in our 
capital, have enormously increased in recent years. 
This luxury is due not altogether to the gains of our 
manufacturers and landlords ; not entirely to the profits 
of our tradesmen in the second greatest pleasure city of 

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282 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the world ; not in any way to the thrift and savings of 
working men within the bounds of the United Kingdom ; 
but to our coal-seams and to the oversea enterprises of 
our capitalists. Relatively the working classes have had 
but little to do with the accumulation of national 
capital. Coal is capital and iron is capital, and once we 
reach the end of our by no means inexhaustible supplies 
of coal and hematite iron, we can never replace them. 
In order to preserve its benefits to the British com- 
munity as long as possible, an export tax should be 
levied upon coal, and in this way cheap supplies 
would be at the call of our manufacturers. At the 
present time, however, owing to the insensate folly of 
the Liberal repeal of the coal-tax, the foreigner is laying 
up great stores of Cardiff coal at relatively cheap rates, 
and the price of this material is rising to British con- 
sumers. 

Our national wealth, swollen enormously by large 
sums in the form of dowries and legacies coming into 
the country from America and elsewhere, is largely 
sunk in foreign Government securities, foreign railways, 
mines, and manufacturing enterprises. Companies 
registered at Somerset House are formed for the ex- 
ploitation of enormously rich virgin lands, and their 
workings are carried on abroad; therefore, the in- 
dustrial classes of Great Britain neither help to pro- 
duce the wealth thus gained, nor do they directly 
benefit by these adventures, although theorists and 
unsound thinkers delude them into the belief that they 
are the sole creators of all national riches. 

Our workers are also sadly misled in political economy 
by the dazzling results of British dash and enterprise 
in foreign countries, evidenced by the income-tax 
returns. They are terribly led astray by these statistics, 
because much of the trading which figures in the monthly 
returns is done in foreign goods. At least 138 millions' 
worth of finished articles enter this country, which are 



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IMPERIAL TRADES-UNIONISM 283 

absolutely untaxed for any purpose whatever. With 
Customs legislation that enforced the production of 
declarations of origin, it would be possible to learn the 
terms and conditions under which these non-barter 
goods arrive in this country. Then, possibly, the 
income-tax assessors might have some still more agree- 
able work to perform. 

The death duties also mislead those who labour 
with their hands, for workers invariably believe 
that the many huge fortunes recently taxed by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer have been amassed at 
their expense, and demagogues play upon this credulity 
of the artisans, and they become discontented and 
irritable. They are confused and excited by the ex- 
travagance of London, the Metropolis of the world, 
to which the possessors of the world's wealth inevitably 
move, and they now begin to clamour for an impossible 
redistribution of riches. 

It is perfectly true that the total amounts assessed 
to income-tax and the interest derived from British 
investments in foreign securities have doubled, but this 
wealth has but little to do with our working classes. 

The Buenos Ayres and Rosario Railway, with a capital 
of £28,000,000 ; the Buenos Ayres and Great Southern 
Railway, with a capital of £24,000,000, and many 
other Argentine, Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, and colonial 
railways, have been constructed with British cash; 
but their earnings, that go to swell the wealth of Britain, 
do not directly affect or concern the British workman. 
The free admission of Argentine meat really affects him 
more, because it injures our greatest British industry — 
viz., that of agriculture; for we tax our land at the 
rate of about ten shillings an acre, and allow the free 
entrance of South American produce, grown on land 
taxed at, perhaps, less than sixpence an acre. 

British capital laid the foundations of the great mines 
of Australia, South Africa, India, and North America, 



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284 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

the petroleum industry of Baku, and thousands of 
foreign industries. Article upon article might be 
written upon this subject alone, but these few words 
will suffice. Wherever the British flag flies gold seems 
to be found — from Klondike to Tasmania, from Madras 
to New Guinea, even in Wei-hai-Wei and Mauritius. 
After their plant has been paid for, how do foreign 
mining enterprises find employment for the British 
working man, and how can he fairly claim to have any- 
thing to do with the dividends accruing from these 
adventures of our financiers ? Since 1886 the pro- 
duction of gold has been advancing at an enormous 
rate; consequently, State after State has demonetized 
silver and created a gold standard. The demand for 
the precious metal has increased year by year, and thus 
trade has been universally stimulated. So long as the 
gold output increases prices will advance. 

After a long period of unprofitable years, and at a 
time when home dividends are gradually falling, the 
welcome era has arrived when British capitalists are 
beginning to reap the rewards of their exploitation of 
foreign countries. For the past fifteen years the divi- 
dends on the ordinary stock of British railways have 
been steadily declining — say, from 4-8 per cent, in 1890 
to 3-9 per cent, in 1904 — whilst in Germany, a country 
which is supposed to be suffering from all the disabilities 
inseparable from Protection and militarism, the profits 
earned by railways have risen from 2*2 per cent, in 1890 
to 6*0 in 1904, and in the same period almost all foreign 
and colonial railways in which British investors are 
interested have increased their dividends. 

When such serious statesmen as Mr. Asquith quote 
the increase of the earnings of foreign undertakings as 
an earnest of the blessings to be derived by this country 
from Free Trade, one recognizes the pauper condition of 
Cobdenite argument. To import these utterly false 
considerations into the fiscal controversy — as it bears 



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IMPERIAL TRADES-UNIONISM 285 

upon the bread-and-butter of working men and women — 
is as foolish as it is sinful. 

Such puerile attempts at disproving Mr. Chamberlain's 
arguments may impress the illogical for a time — and it 
is astonishing how effective are the reiterated statements 
of certain orators on the minds of those who do their 
thinking vicariously — especially when insistent assertions 
are accompanied by a host of high-sounding statistics ; 
but, inevitably, in a few more years, the stupidity of 
these Cobdenites will be displayed in such a glaring 
manner that even the most ignorant workman Free- 
Trader will eventually confess their obvious falsity. In 
twenty years from now there will not be a single Liberal 
paper that will give space for a single column of Cob- 
denite doctrine. 

When completer accounts of the balance of trade are 
compiled, showing proper analyses of the annual figures, 
it will be no longer possible to delude the electors of Great 
Britain by stupendous grand totals that are never con- 
trasted with the results of similar calculations appear- 
ing in foreign statistical abstracts. In a complete 
account of the balance of trade, allowance has to be 
made for the movement of (1) merchandise ; (2) bullion ; 
(3) shipping freights ; (4) foreign debt and investments ; 
(5) income from foreign investments ; (6) investments in 
the United Kingdom of persons residing abroad ; (7) in- 
comes drawn from these investments ; (8) spendings in 
the United Kingdom of persons deriving their income 
from abroad ; (9) spendings abroad of persons drawing 
their incomes from the United Kingdom ; (10) commis- 
sions earned by British bankers in negotiating foreign 
bills ; and other factors. Most of these movements may 
and do take the form of the transmission of commodities, 
and without full information it is impossible to say what 
proportion of the goods entering into the import and 
export returns represents the liquidation of loans and 
interest on investment. 



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286 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

The present is the hour of defeat, when the ideas of 
our opponents gain a false brilliance from temporary 
success. We Imperialists must be greatest in the hour 
of failure, like the unconquerable Japanese soldiers ; 
victory is soon to be ours, and I urge that we should 
strengthen, fortify, and consolidate the Imperial party 
in the spirit of the Japanese financiers, who made 
arrangements to pay off the whole of the war debt in 
thirty years. If we do not unite our forces before the 
next election comes round, the old sinners will be 
elevated once more to high places. National expenses 
will grow greater and greater, the more so now that 
false economies are practised, and municipal demands 
will take from us still larger and larger sums every 
year — those colossal municipal imposts which are only 
national taxation in a slightly different form. 

It has been truly said, " We win our battles, but we 
leave the burden of the cost to prevent our posterity 
from winning theirs. . . . This process in the coming 
years leads to ruin as inevitably as rivers to the sea. 
Japan, on the contrary, works for eternity, and her pos- 
terity will fight without the debt of past ages upon their 
backs." We have saddled ourselves with an Atlas load, 
but we seem to desire the burden. The demands of the 
municipalities grow greater year by year. The Pinchley 
Council, not content that their cemetery should remain 
in the hands of a competent and economical Burial 
Board, applied the principles of municipal trading to 
the disposal of their dead, and thus saddled the rate- 
payers with so much more in the pound ; and this is only 
one of innumerable illustrations of our neglect of the 
claims of posterity. Seeing such evidences of ghastly 
ineptitude everywhere, one wonders whether the nation's 
back will not one day break. 

If we would be worthy allies of Japan, we must 
strengthen, consolidate, and unify ourselves, we must 
display high finance for posterity by standing shoulder 



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IMPERIAL TRADES-UNIONISM 287 

to shoulder with our Colonies to resist that most de- 
structive foe of all Empires — the rust of dissolution in 
the very engine-room of the racial workshop. 

In conclusion, I ask would-be Radicals to be indeed 
Radical in their endeavour to reform the existing state 
of things, to follow out the principles of their own trade- 
unions — in a word, to combine against those exterior and 
interior influences which threaten ultimately to bring 
about the Empire's downfall. I ask them to apply to all 
imports the rule of the Joiners' Federation — a society 
which forbids its members to fix foreign-made doors and 
windows in British buildings. This is an example of 
the kind of Pair Trade which Imperialists desire to 
establish. Let me quote four of the reasons why all 
workers are urged by their fellows to join a trade-union. 
I take them from a Weavers' Association circular : 

Reason 1. — Because the benefits of combinations are 
so self-evident that employers, managers, professional, 
medical, and commercial men all have their trade-union, 
though they may call it by some other name. 

Reason 6. — Because what you receive through your 
trade-union is worth a hundred times more than you pay 
for it. 

Reason 10. — Because the risks of accidents, strikes, 
lock-outs, and stoppages are all provided for by the trade- 
union. And — 

Reason 11. — Because it is only by being united that 
you can obtain what every worker ought to have — viz., 
a fair day's wage for a fair day's work. 

Finally, let me repeat their secretary's quatrain, a 
verse which is full of admirable common-sense : 

" It isn't much you're asked to pay ; 
Like Britons, then, be true ; 
But don't get over eight weeks in arrears, 
And the Union will stand by you !" 

Now apply Reasons 1, 6. 10, and 11 to the consideration 
of unifying the different parts of the Empire into a 



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288 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

compact body capable of defying those who seek to 
oppress us by unjust tariff enactments, and you will 
satisfy Imperialists and all those who believe in patriot- 
ism ; because, if you will apply these principles fairly — 
not forgetting the injunctions contained in the con- 
cluding stanza — you will be on the highroad to 
patriotism yourselves, and you will most probably ask 
the House of Commons to reverse in Grand Committee 
decisions such as that which made foreign vessels in 
British ports exempt from the load-line regulation. 
When the scales fall from the eyes of the British artisan, 
he will be the first to demand the resignation of members 
who, by an inexplicable majority, deliberately reimposed 
a serious handicap upon home shipping in home waters. 
In his heart of hearts the working man of England equally 
objects to the entrance of foreign-made window-frames 
and to the disproportionate increase of foreign tonnage 
in British ports. The light will come into his brain 
when Labour fully realizes that highly-trained intel- 
lectualism is necessary in all its champions, in order to 
withstand the pushfulness of those foreign nations who 
now produce the greatest captains of commerce and 
the most intelligent craftsmen of industry. Such 
educational equipment is the greatest world-force : logic, 
not mere rhetoric, makes for national predominance. 



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XXXII 

THE SPLENDID POSITION OF TEtE GERMAN ARTISAN 

Why does unemployment prevail ? Why does pauperism 
increase in this so fortunately placed country of ours, 
with a fiscal policy which ought to place it in a position 
to outstrip all its trade rivals ? To hear its advocates 
hold forth, one might think that an appropriate motto 
for Free Trade would be the Virgilian one — Decus et 
tviamen. But does this policy constitute a glory and a 
defence ? 

Hard upon the publication of our bloated Trade 
Returns for 1906 we had Mr. Will Thorne, the Labour 
Member, moving an amendment to the Address ex- 
pressing regret that while 5 per cent, of the most highly 
skilled artisans were out of employment, and the Un- 
employed Workmen Act had proved inadequate to deal 
with distress due to lack of employment, no mention 
was made in the King's Speech of any proposals for 
dealing with this serious and menacing evil. In a word, 
the Liberals are everywhere singing paeans about the 
country's prosperity, and the Labour Members are 
crying out that never before has the case of the un- 
employed been so desperate. 

On the other hand, in Germany we find that the 
demand for labour has never been so intense in the 
memory of man. Lord Ridley and the Tariff Reform 
League can supply the fullest proof of this, and the fact 
is unanswerable. We had an illustration of the scarcity 

289 19 



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290 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

of labour in the Kaiser's protected Empire when our 
British " coolies " offered themselves to the Hamburg 
dock officials in hungry thousands ! 

A stable Government with a definite policy based on 
a great racial ideal is the best protection against national 
poverty. Mob law, or the rule of many, is inimical to 
the highest interests of any country, and it was the 
unthinking mob and the cowardly Free-Trade Unionists 
who gave the Radicals their mandate to perpetuate 
existing political evils. As late as thirty years ago, 
we had a working population about equal to that of the 
next two industrial Powers — the United States and 
Germany. Together, these two Powers have now more 
than double our industrial strength. No wonder the 
German artisan is happy and content, with a nice 
balance in his savings bank. A pocket with a silver 
lining drives many a cloud away. 

Our prosperity and power have been founded on coal, 
iron, and " cosmopolitan trade." Cobden and his imme- 
diate successors imagined that we had no need to fear 
any foreign competition, and that, being so fortunately 
placed, the possession of Colonies was unnecessary to us. 
The cynical Little Englanders of Lancashire are still more 
or less of the same opinion, but they would sell their bed- 
steads and beddings to prevent the secession of India 
from the British Raj, because they have bound down 
India, like a milch cow, to provide them with a profit- 
able market. This anomaly seems to be inexplicable. 

As Mr. Will Thome has repudiated the Radical theory 
that lack of employment is due to the Anglo-Boer War, 
I need not attempt to deny this false assertion. Hostile 
tariffs breed unemployment when they supersede our 
goods with others. When their power is augmented by 
great corporations, such as the Standard Oil Trust, and 
favoured by railways with special freight rates, they con- 
stitute a most serious peril to our country. Free im- 
ports bring foreign manufactured goods into the country 



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POSITION OF THE GERMAN ARTISAN 291 

at the rate of £140,000,000 or more a year. Meanwhile 
the alien is pouring into the country practically un- 
checked, and we find the Central Committee on the 
Unemployed spending, in the winter of prosperous 
1906-1907, £30,000 in emigrating 5,000 workless beings to 
Canada, at the cost of the ratepayers of London. The 
1905 iron and steel statistics show that the United 
States is even beginning to export tin plates — a privi- 
lege which we used to fancy we reserved exclusively 
to ourselves. The exports of these plates have grown 
from 439 tons in 1901 to 7,941 tons in 1905. If this rate 
of British retrogression increases, modern geographies in 
search of a short description of our manufactures will 
probably fall back on Sallust. " The wretched Britons !" 
wrote the historian of Catiline about 50 b.o. — " there is 
some good in them after all : they produce the oyster !" 

Is it the life-giving air of America that is the cause of 
this quick growth in the tin-plate export trade, or is it 
the advantage given to the transatlantic manufacturers 
by Protection ? The exploits of Martin Sheridan, who 
beat the record in throwing the discus at the Olympic 
games, 1906, and of young Sherring, the Canadian, who 
ran 25J miles in two hours fifty-one minutes, and thus 
won the classic Marathon race, would seem to be ominous 
of other victories. The success of so many athletes from 
" the other side " seems to prefigure an eventual superi- 
ority, not only of wind and limb, but also of brain. The 
development of the national resources of the United 
States has already given American manufacturers many 
of the advantages which we enjoyed in the last century, 
but Protection has placed them in a position to out- 
distance us in almost all competitive trading. 

To revert, however, to the question of our free imports, 
Germany sends us a large portion of the wares repre- 
sented by these £140,000,000, and her foreign exported 
goods are helping to keep down her own pauperism 
and to keep up Great Britain's. The profit on 

19—2 



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292 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

£140,000,000 at 5 per cent, is £7,000,000 sterling; 
£7,000,000 sterling represent four or five foreign cruisers, 
and more than seven American 16,000-ton battleships of 
the Michigan type, if the tender of Messrs. William 
Cramp and Co., of £737,800 per vessel — including tur- 
bines — was correct. 

I have seen it stated by a Liberal Member of Parlia- 
ment that in Germany it would cost £10,000,000 more 
to build 60,000 tons of warships than in Great Britain, 
and £10,600,000 more in the United States than here. 
On such preposterous statements was the last election 
won. 

To prate about " cheap bread," when we behold our 
national existence endangered, is on the intellectual level 
of that attitude of mind which sees the deepest and 
kindliest wisdom in the most ruse political acts of our 
potential enemies. Such oratorical meanness may be 
placed in the same category of vices as that almost 
Oriental political lethargy which deplores resentment or 
retaliation, whilst deprecating the so-called economic 
fallacies on which the power of our avowed enemies is 
apparently securely based. 

"Germany must export either men or goods," said 
Count Caprivi. She chooses to retain her manhood and 
to export goods. Great Britain takes German goods 
and exports British men, and herein lies one explanation 
of our rivals' great and growing power. 

A large industrial population is maintained in Germany 
simply because of the open ports in our Empire, and 
this compact body politic makes stronger and still 
stronger the home market, which is their exclusive pre- 
serve. Their savings swell the accumulation of German 
capital ; the revenue becomes greater and greater ; forts 
are built, the army strengthened, and a huge Armada 
advances from the stage of ideas to the constructive 

Just as nitro-glyoerine has dealt a severe blow at the 



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POSITION OF THE GERMAN ARTISAN 293 

self-confidence of the safemaker, so has the continued 
prosperity of Germany and the United States dealt 
rudely with the assurance of the Gobdenites. Their 
arguments are now useless, because the basis of their 
theories has been knocked away. In the fifteen years 
ending in 1905 Germany gained 11,200,000 increase of 
population, against Britain's gain of 5,800,000. But 
Germany is able to find work for this vast additional 
number of people ; and, whilst the mass of our unem- 
ployed becomes greater, the ranks of her workless in- 
habitants are being rapidly reduced. In 1905 there 
were fewer unemployed than ever in the records of Ger- 
man history. 

Even as our Free Trade policy has enriched the agri- 
cultural regions, and indirectly the manufacturing dis- 
tricts of the United States, so our effete fiscal policy has 
. provided Germany with the funds that her ambition 
finds necessary to emphasize her aspirations. It cannot 
well be otherwise when she sends at least £58,000,000 
worth of goods annually to Great Britain. 

In regard to her treatment of the British Empire, 
Germany has acted precisely as the scorpion-fly behaves 
to the dragon-fly. The smaller insect attacks the 
greater, and sucks the nourishing blood whilst its prey 
is still on the wing. 

If you render an Aliens Act inoperative, and give 
the foreign manufacturer the right of free, untaxed 
trading in British towns, where the rates pressing on 
millowners sometimes reach ten shillings in the pound, 
then you must be prepared to see emigration increase. 
On the other hand, under the now absolutely united 
Burger parties, the German Arbeitslevie remain in their 
factories and their farmers on the land, the hands of 
the "Reds" and the "Blacks" being tied behind 
their backs for a long time to come. Prince Billow's 
dream of a Liberal bloc has come true, and there 
is work for everybody. Herr Dernburg's voice has 



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294 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

shouted down that of Herr Bebel ; German idealism is 
rapidly transforming itself into materialism, and a 
contented people has lost its faith in the visionary aims 
of the Social Democrats. Herren Singer, von Wollmar, 
Auer, Ledeboer, Stradthagen, and Bebel have now to 
fight for a hopeless cause ! The British population 
does not increase proportionately to the growth of 
the German people, chiefly because there is not suffi- 
cient work for it in the United Kingdom, and because 
so many of our most virile units leave the country every 
year. Precisely in proportion to its detrimental effect 
upon our trade with Germany, the Zollverein increases 
the number of our unemployed. On the other hand, 
we not only provide Germans with trade facilities, 
which keep the artisans busy in every German town, 
but, as a matter of course, we throw our country open 
to those malefactors whose careers are closed in the 
Fatherland, and in other European countries. In that 
large Alsatia which begins in Piccadilly Circus may be 
found thousands of women whom German doctors 
have condemned to incarceration as deadly pests of 
society. There they are allowed to walk free and un- 
fettered, openly plying their horrible trade, and poison- 
ing the youth of our nation. Many of the most malevo- 
lent members of the "inner ring" of international 
anarchy are free to scheme plans of wholesale ruin in 
Soho, being admitted to this enlightened country with- 
out let or hindrance, and the redoubtable " No. 1," the 
prime mover in all Spanish political outrages, is one of 
the ornaments of Greek Street. 

Hostile tariffs abroad have most important effects 
upon our financial power and the ability of the country 
to sustain a large and increasing population. It is 
precisely because the outlook in British life is not 
hopeful that we find the declining birth-rate in our 
middle classes, which means a diminished racial resist- 
ance to our competitors 9 attacks. The middle classes 



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POSITION OF THE GERMAN ARTISAN 295 

have to bear the burden which should rightfully fall on 
the foreign manufacturer, especially now that a war tax 
is continued in time of peace. 

Wherever our trade is touched to a disadvantage, 
our ability to sustain the navy suffers correspondingly. 
Every bale of goods that we do not send to ports wherein 
we have always traded heretofore means so much 
less money available in this country for our navy and 
for our army ; and, as I have already shown, we can 
now clearly see the results of the benefits which Germany 
has derived from the business which she has done 
with our Empire, having acquired wealth and power 
and influence, which make her at once the most 
energetic, clever, aggressive, and intolerant nation in 
the world. 

As commerce stands for revenue, we must see to the 
consolidation of the Empire whilst yet there is time. 
Under our present political and fiscal conditions how can 
we afford to spend such increasingly high sums on the 
navy ? We simply cannot ! We are burning the 
candle at both ends, and hastening towards a condition 
which will be best described in two words — Pouvoir fini I 

The way to economize is simple. Put a special tax 
upon German imports in all parts of the British Empire, 
and then you will automatically stop the building of her 
threatening fleet. Canada has been penalized by the 
German Bundesrath for according a preference to 
British wares, and it is time to show our rivals that a 
blow dealt at Canada is a blow dealt at Britain. Canada 
answered for herself by a special surtax upon German 
imports ; our answer has still to be given. 

Canada is not by any means dependent upon prefer- 
ence. The preferential policy is of infinitely greater 
importance to us. Canada has an enormous market 
upon her southern frontier, whilst, ultimately, we have 
no markets save those in which we must meet keen 
commercial adversaries who have produced wares under 



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296 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

more favourable conditions than those which affect us. 
Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we should 
form and establish this policy of unification, which will 
secure to us effective entrance into the only markets 
to which we can look for the continued expansion of 
British trade in the future. 

Remember that no less than a fourth part of all Germany's 
exports are placed in British markets ; remember, also, 
that to the ordinary foreign markets of the world 
she already exports more than we do, and, in trade that is 
done outside the British Empire, she has long ago 
destroyed our commercial supremacy. 

If, then, we continue to hold up our heads and insist 
that the Cobdenites of Great Britain — and their numbers, 
thank God, are rapidly lessening — have the monopoly 
of the world's intelligence ; if we continue to state by 
implication that the Americans, the French, the Germans, 
and the Japanese do not know where their best interests 
he, Germany will grow in power more and more, for it is 
upon our follies that her successes are built. Her 
eighty warships, so often engaged in secret naval man- 
oeuvres and the embarking and disembarking of forces 
in the North Sea, will increase and multiply threefold, 
unless we at once take steps to put a check on the 
hostile fecundity of her shipyards. 

The curling tendrils of tropical vines eventually 
bring down the greatest trees. Even without war, Ger- 
many, the great epiphyte, in this way will exhaust and 
lay Great Britain low if we persist in our folly. No 
amount of polysyllabic platitudes will alter this cardinal 
fact. Already she rivals us in financial influence, 
and in ships she will soon be our equal. Only those 
whose economic ideas were formed in the Victorian 
era can fail to recognize her power. The future, then, 
absolutely depends upon the consolidation of our Empire 
by a well-planned and carefully digested scheme of 
Imperial preference. 



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POSITION OF THE GERMAN ARTISAN 297 

Do not trust those who still gaze at the horizon with 
Cobdenite field-glasses. The peculiar astigmatism of 
their vision is well known. These are the men who 
saw in the Zulu, murdering the wives and children of 
settlers, a harmless child of nature, and described as 
fiends revelling in bloodshed those black brethren of 
his, who, objecting to his ingratitude, attacked the 
recreant in alliance with white troops. 

We are told that if we succeed in persuading Canada 
to concede a genuine preference, we shall be brought into 
direct conflict with the United States — a diplomatic 
struggle in which the sympathies of the Canadian manu- 
facturers and of the banks, and other dependent in- 
terests, will be largely against us. But this is mere 
Radical claptrap. Canada is strong enough to do as 
she pleases, without fear or favour. She is stronger 
now, in her forty-first year, than ever she was. Her 
industries will not be ruined by our competition, and 
she will be immeasurably enriched by the expansion 
of her agriculture, if this great unification scheme can 
be brought into practical being. Moreover, our own 
countrymen will find work in Canada, and Canadians 
will find work here. One of the consequences cannot 
fail to be a healthier, more prosperous, and altogether 
happier race. The white population of the British 
Empire is not now maintaining its old rate of increase : 
unification, however, will mean an increased capacity 
of the State to provide an environment suitable to the 
development of the nation ; and it is precisely in the 
number of its prosperous and contented citizens, and 
not in the extent of its territory ; that a nation's power 
and security chiefly lie. The Japanese say that for an 
individual to experience something entirely new tends 
to prolong life. If our Empire bestows upon itself the 
blessing of the novel experience of Preference, it will 
most certainly prolong its existence. 



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XXYTTT 

THE CATCHWORD OP THE FUTURE-IMPERIAL UNITY 

One final word. What I have already said does not 
constitute any sort of indictment against a progressive 
people. I do not complain because Germany pursues 
a certain definite policy. Having a whole-souled 
admiration for her energy, pluck, and perseverance, I 
cannot but admit that, were I a German, I should most 
decidedly work for the same end and aims that collective 
Germany works for. It is not her patriotism that I 
inveigh against, but the obvious concentration of the 
whole of her forceful energy upon the construction of 
an immense navy, which is admittedly to be used for 
aggressive purposes. Her aims are not always veiled 
even by the thinnest tissue of courtesy, and any Briton 
with ordinary vision can see through the iridescent gauze 
of her most specious offers of friendship the grim and men- 
acing mouths of the guns of her warships. The National 
Liberal leader, Herr Bassermann, has again and again 
declared that Germany will settle her differences with 
England when her fleet is ready. Herr Maximilian 
Harden has answered him in Die Zukunft by stigmatizing 
such frankness as the greatest error of modern times, 
enjoining silence whilst destructive navies are being 
built. But now Die Post, the leading Conservative 
paper in Berlin, has thrown discretion to the winds. 

"Nobody in Germany doubts England's abhorrence 
of war," it says, " but abhorrence of war has nothing to 

298 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 299 

do with Anglo-German relations. Wars nowadays are 
fought over political or trade differences, when they 
cannot be settled without sacrificing vital interests. 
The question of what constitutes vital interests, when an 
amicable settlement is doubtful, is affected by the heat 
of national ambitions. States without points of con- 
tact are not much in danger of having to decide between 
a forcible and a peaceable settlement of life interests. 
It is different, however, if the points of irritation are 
so numerous and extended as those between England 
and Germany. With the best will on the part of two 
great Powers for the maintenance of peace, an uninten- 
tional act or an unforeseen event can at any moment 
occur, calculated to bring the existing strain to the 
breaking-point. 

"No more bitter antagonism is conceivable than a 
struggle between the commerce of Great Britain and 
Germany for the mastery of the world's markets, which 
each not only covets, but requires in consequence of 
its economic development. The day is easily imagin- 
able — abstractly considered — when this rivalry alone, 
which naturally involves a perpetual strain in the re- 
lations between the two countries, will — by a process 
of psychological development, devoid of ill-feeling on 
either side — become unbearable for one or other of the 
competitors. The horror of war will perhaps postpone 
a settlement by force, but it will not prevent it." 

All this indirectly results from our Premier's sincere 
though ill-judged disarmament proposals, which Ger- 
many regards almost as menaces, her newspapers con- 
stantly drawing parallels between the suggestions of 
our Government and similar proposals submitted to 
Prussia by Prance in February, 1870. 

If Germans in authority had not already told us 
times without number that their growing navy is 
intended to overthrow our power, any man at all 
acquainted with the international political events of the 



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300 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

last twenty years could not have failed to see that either 
Great Britain or the United States of America must be 
the object against which Germany is preparing her 
great Armada. But the Berlin Post clears away all 
doubt, and we now know exactly where we are. It be- 
hoves us, therefore, to be on guard against surprises. 
We must take to heart the Bismarckian phrase and 
remain towjours en vedette! The once furtive and 
secret policy of the Fatherland has now been abandoned, 
and we know only too well what we have to fear in the 
future. 

" Wilhdm ist jut — aber a bissel pldtdich" to use the 
Platt-Deutsch expression. Therefore, if we do not wish 
eventually to be rushed and trapped by the Kaiser's war- 
dogs, as their predecessors were overwhelmed and crushed 
by Napoleon, we must at once effect that Imperial unity 
which will make our international path free from all 
obstructions for many a century to come. This con- 
solidation once brought about, the British race would 
have before it a broad highway, on which the car of 
Progress might go forward to that high destiny which 
our forefathers desired for us. 

We must recollect that our greatest rivals and avowed 
foes are already consolidated, and they have the clearest 
and sanest conception of individual duty. The 
Bundesrat, consisting of the fifty-eight representatives 
of the sovereign States which are united in the German 
Empire, might be taken as the model for some future 
Imperial British Parliament, over which an Imperial 
Chancellor might preside. Germans have no " craven 
fears of being great." The sincere and altogether ad- 
mirable speech which the Emperor made at the Krupp 
wedding was not really needed to enforce the con- 
ception of duty on the brains of those who heard him. 
To Germans "duty" and "patriotism" are two 
favourite words, and their meanings are clear to all 
who own allegiance to Wilhelm II. It is Great Britain 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 301 

who needs to take the Kaiser's words to heart — fine, 
soul-stirring words that they were ! 

"May your life be filled and dominated by that 
which our greatest and clearest thinker, Kant, called 
the categorical imperative of duty ! Serious-minded 
people belong to, and consequently serve, the State. 
Without duties it is impossible to imagine rights. 
Bights without duties lead to dissoluteness and licen- 
tiousness." 

There is a force and a whole-hearted sincerity in this 
utterance of one who is in almost every way the mouth- 
piece of his people that compels our respect. It re- 
minds us of Burke, who — as Mr. John Morley tells us — 
realized the profound lesson that in politics we are con- 
cerned not with barren rights, but with duties ; not with 
abstract truth, but with practical morality. This 
German nation has its ideals, its duties, and its 
practical morality ; we have no national ideals, no 
proper conception of our duty, and no practical 
morality. 

If the menacing growth of German armaments is 
not enough to convince even the most sceptical of the 
danger Germany constitutes to our most important 
interests, surely a material appeal will not be made in 
vain. Remember that the gross receipts of the German 
railways, which up to the twentieth century were 
always far below those of the British, have now risen 
above them, and the difference is enormous. These are 
the figures : 





1890 


1904 


United Kingdom 


... £79,000,000 


£112,000,000 


Germany 


... £63,000,000 


£113,000,000 



Statistics of coal consumption also show a remarkable 
progress in German industry ; whilst in the manufacture 
of iron, which once was our peculiar pride — at a time 
when we feared no rival in most branches of trade — 



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302 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

Germany has already left us far behind. The particulars 
are these : 

1880 1905 

England 8,031,000 tons 9,746,000 tons 

Germany 4,658,000 „ 10,875,000 „ 

The figures speak for themselves more eloquently than 
anything I can say, and they ought to convince the most 
superficial reasoner that there is something radically 
wrong with our Free Trade system. 

If we had space here to go into the question of steel, 
we should find the statistics proving that German 
manufacturers are infinitely more ahead of us in this 
article than in pig-iron, and the same story can be 
repeated in regard to many other branches of trade 
and commerce. So that, in effect, we see a nation 
which, by all the specious proofs of Cobdenite reasoning, 
should be now in the throes of bankruptcy, getting 
richer and richer every year, not only in material 
wealth and power, but in the number of her happy 
citizens — so wealthy and so prosperous, indeed, that not 
only our existence as an industrial nation is menaced, but 
we are threatened with an eventual conflict, through 
which it is hoped to deprive us of those privileges for 
which our fathers fought and died. 

Even as a slug is fond of foxgloves, so Germany is 
fond of Free Trade— not Free Trade practised by her- 
self, but Free Trade upheld by others. Whenever there 
has been the slightest agitation in these islands for the 
reconsideration of our fiscal policy, we have found 
Germany and her agents aggressively active in every 
direction, endeavouring to prevent the spread of what 
to her must be an inevitably fatal conviction. Germany 
knows only too well that her power and prosperity are 
to a large extent based upon her trade in British markets, 
so that, if we were suddenly to change our policy, her 
commercial position might be most serious. 

To say that it is to enforce her will and to keep our 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 303 

markets open to her that she hastens forward the con- 
struction of her navy is to put the case in terms of milk- 
and-water. Her aims go far beyond this. They are 
selfish aims, as all purely national aims inevitably 
must be. Any other equally strong, virile nation would 
pursue precisely the same policy that she pursues. 
Britain, however, in her place, might not be so alive to 
the advantages to be gained by a strong consistent 
policy; but, then, Britain has long ceased to rank as 
a centre of patriotic activity, and what one might have 
postulated as her probable action thirty years ago 
would appear absurd in the twentieth century. Wealth 
and luxury have done their perfect work, and British 
politicians are by no means what the German Navy 
League claims them to be. Our statesmen are neither 
brilliantly audacious evil-doers nor Machiavellian 
strategists. The country is too opulent and too leth- 
argic for displays of either strong or subtle policy. 

Rich and prosperous Phoenicia, self-contained and 
proud, possessing within her boundaries all that she 
could desire for the construction of her ships, and a 
maritime population from which she could draw an 
unlimited number of adventurous seafarers, commanded 
the trade of the entire Mediterranean, of the Propontis, 
and the Euxine. She had magnificent Colonies — Cyprus, 
Rhodes, Crete, Lemnos, Samothrace, Sicily, Hippo 
Zaritb, Thapsus, the Balearic Isles, Southern Spain, 
Carthage, and many others, owned her sway. She had 
the carrying trade of the near East and of Western 
Europe. She imported her raw materials and exported 
manufactured articles. The Greeks, with their high 
civilization, acknowledged Phoenicia as the chief com- 
mercial Power in the world. But, growing conceited 
and intolerant, she neglected to consolidate her vast 
interests. Her Colonies were not made in any sense 
component parts of her, so that when Asshur-nazir-pal 
of Assyria conceived the idea of subjugating Tyre and 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 305 

adamantine resolve, if we are to retain our name among 
nations. Germany's greatness, her riches and power, 
are now indisputable facts that must inevitably press 
upon our comprehension more and more year by year. 
We have allowed her to get in front of us by pursuing 
an obstinate and stupid policy which has been the 
amusement of the civilized world for the last twenty 
years, and we have only ourselves to blame. The 
fiscal privileges- which we have granted her for more than 
half a century she now looks upon as inalienable rights. 
Her rivalry is partly an organic, inevitable national 
development, and partly the result of a fierce gratuitous 
hatred. She is bent upon mastering us, and she has had 
a splendid start. 

Even the Deity's omnipotence must confess that the 
past is irretrievable ; therefore, looking back upon the 
ruins of our opportunities, we have to face a situation 
which can be altered only by a display of our old-time 
strength and resolution. 

We have to remember, as we behold the egoistic 
march of German progress across the world, that we, 
too, have our ancestors — our glorious grandfathers and 
great-grandfathers — and that we do not intend to allow 
any of our rivals to reconsecrate the memory of iheir 
forebears at the expense of the deeds wrought by our 
illustrious dead. We must, at any rate, display as much 
" Hohenzollernism " ourselves as will ensure our national 
safety. Surely there is enough manhood left in Britain 
to stand up against any too palpable aggression in 
the near future. If the Two-Power standard at sea 
is beyond our strength to maintain now, how much 
more onerous shall we feel the burden of taxation when 
first-class German ships outbid our own in number, 
speed and armament ! 

^ *The Swiss Militia system has been constantly revised 
and rejuvenated so as to bring it into line with both 
the exigencies of latter-day warfare and the civil con- 

20 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 307 

formers, and modern Teutonic statesmen find it one of 
the most potent forces of progress. 

Germany and America adopted their modern tariffs 
frankly to kill British competition. Let the British 
Empire adopt a tariff that will kill theirs. The splendid 
ideal we have in view must certainly be reached after a 
lapse of years, if Britain is to remain a Great Power 
— that end being one Imperial Tariff, one Imperial 
Zollverein, for every country over which waves the 
Union Jack. In the meantime, therefore, any working 
preferential arrangement with our Colonies will be 
welcomed that tends to keep within the borders of our 
Empire the advantages to be gained by Imperial trade. 

If the Colonies and the Mother Country stand shoulder 
to shoulder in this vital matter, Germany will have 
either to acquiesce or to declare herself against us at 
once. Better to know the worst forthwith than to 
go on any longer with our heads in the sand. Bis- 
marck's words — so eloquently quoted by the Kaiser 
when he overthrew the power of Socialism early in 1907 
— recur to me here : " If Germany is once set in the 
saddle she will know how to ride." Precisely ! If we 
give her continued access to our colonial markets on 
the same terms as ourselves, we are making every buckle 
secure in the garniture of her war charger, so that she 
may eventually ride roughshod over us. 

Let us turn to the Book of Ezekiel, and read once 
more the unheeded warnings addressed to the proud 
cities of Tyre and Sidon, and the terrible prophecies that 
came true. London and our other great cities ought to 
weigh these words and ponder : 

" Then all the princes of the sea shall come down 
from their thrones, and lay away their robes, and put off 
their broidered garments : they shall clothe themselves 
with trembling; they shall sit upon the ground, and 
shall tremble at every moment, and be astonished at 
thee. 

20—2 



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308 THE CLASH OF EMPIRES 

" And they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and 
say to thee, How art thou destroyed, that wast in- 
habited of seafaring men, the renowned city, which was 
strong in the sea, she and her inhabitants, which cause 
their terror to be on all that haunt it : 

u Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall ; 
yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy 
departure. 



" When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou 
filledst many people ; thou didst enrich the kings of 
the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy 
merchandise. 

" In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas, 
in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy 
company in the midst of thee shall fall. 

" All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished 
at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid ; they shall 
be troubled in their countenance. 

" The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee ; 
thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more." 



Sir Henry Gampbell-Bannerman has a great oppor- 
tunity before him at this large moment of European 
history — one of those unique chances which so rarely 
come to men during the course of their lives. He has 
the chance presented to him of following the illustrious 
example of Mr. Gladstone — of acknowledging his errors 
and changing his policy. Although most of his actions 
in the past seem to have been lacking in political fore- 
sight, we do not despair of him one day rising to the 
heights of patriotism and of doing some noble deed. 
This is his psychological moment for achieving something 
really heroic. 

There is a vacant pedestal in the Hall of Fame waiting 



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THE CATCHWORD OF THE FUTURE 309 

for the statesman who has manliness enough . to whip 
Britain into a sense of shame. Our nation is waiting 
for some great man,, independent of all parties, who 
will take it by the hand and lead it back to the truth ; 
who will teach it to revere the white ensign of the 
British fleet and the honourable standards of the 
British Army. Such a statesman, rising from the 
inchoate Liberal Party — with the supreme power to 
project himself forward into the future— would do 
more to stem the rising flow of Socialism than all the 
Radical thumb-twirlers of Westminster. The country 
wants a new catchword which will bring forth all its 
latent strength of patriotism, and it matters not the 
toss of a halfpenny whether a Conservative or a Radical 
politician issue the formula. The Empire is still young, 
still vigorous — federation is all that it requires to give 
it renewed strength. That powerful organization, 
Het Volk, has a magnificent motto — Endragt magi 
Maakt (Unity makes might). If we are to retain our 
national wealth, prestige, power, and position, the 
catchword that will be most effective in the future is 
Impebial Unity. A message composed of these few 
pregnant syllables could be wafted in a wind of friend- 
ship even to South Africa, and Boer and Briton might 
find in it that which would make them clasp hands fer- 
vently over the graves of brave men — a consummation 
which General Botha has said he wishes to see. I 
recommend it, then, to Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. 
It is not yet too late for him to take back the foolish 
words with which he and the other members of his 
Cabinet dismissed the patriotic proposals of the Colonial 
Premiers, with excuses based upon erroneous statistics 
— to the delight of our commercial rivals and national 
enemies all over the world. 



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